For a while now, it’s seemed like our federal government has been strongly against American freedoms, particularly when it comes to our Second Amendment rights. And while much can be said about our current leadership and his party’s seeming desire to keep us under their thumb and without protection from anti-liberty rules and regulations, the process began some time before Biden entered the White House.
Even under the Trump administration, certain anti-gun laws were allowed to be pushed through.
Thankfully, our government was designed with certain checks and balances to ensure justice and liberty is kept intact. And so it is with great pleasure that I announce that the 2018 ruling of bump stocks being allowed to be considered “machine guns” has now been overturned.
Now, if you remember the former ruling at all, you’ll know that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives or ATF, under the direction of our former president, issued a new interpretation of a 1930s rule on machine guns that moved to include bump stocks as a type or part of machine gun and therefore banned them to the public.
However, the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals has just overruled that interpretation. According to the presiding judges, changing the definition as ATF did, without first passing legislation on the matter, might not have been completely legal.
They wrote, “This Executive-Branch change in statutory interpretation aimed to outlaw bump stocks prospectively, without a change in existing statues.”
The judges explained that, per the 1986 Firearms Owners’ Protection Act or FOPA, machine guns were not allowed to be owned by the public unless they were already under ownership prior to that year. Included in the ban were several machine gun parts, including receivers and frames, which can be used to covert an existing weapon into a machine gun.
In 2018, the ATF decided that bump stocks, which allow the gun to fire in a semi-automatic fashion after the trigger is squeezed only once, should be included in this ban. At the time, the district court issuing the ruling used what is called the ‘Chevron deference’ to decide on the matter. Basically, this is the use of an agency’s own interpretation and opinion on the subject as fact – particularly when members of the court do not fully understand the intricacies involved.
In this case, ATF’s opinion was deferred to on the matter of bump stocks as the judges and lawmakers involved are not all that familiar with them.
However, as the US Navy-Marine Corps Court just ruled, “an agency’s interpretation of a criminal statute is not entitled to Chevron deference, and because the ATF’s Final rule is not the best interpretation of 5845(b), we REVERSE the district court’s judgment and REMAND for proceedings consistent with this opinion.”
So bump stocks are not banned, and neither are they considered as a part of or a machine gun.
While it might not seem like a massive win for Second Amendment advocacy, it couldn’t come at a better time.
As you may know, President Joe Biden’s head of ATF nomination of David Chipman has just been formally rescinded as of Thursday. Chipman has a long history of fighting for gun control and against the Second Amendment. And as such, his affiliation with a federal agency tasked with delivering justice and maintaining freedoms of the American people in regards to firearms and multiple other types of weaponry was seen as a bit of a conflict of interest.
To be sure, it would be. The last thing America needs is the head of a national firearms regulation agency that doesn’t like guns and doesn’t believe they should be allowed in the hand of the public.
Let’s just say we dodged a major bullet on that one.
And now, with this new ruling on bump stocks by the Navy-Marine Corps Court, we patriots have even more reason to celebrate. Thank God for founding fathers who thought to put liberty and justice above all.