Bumpstock Lawsuit Moves Forward as Firearms Policy Foundation Files Motion Seeking Invalidation of ATF Final Rule

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 29, 2020) — Firearms Policy Foundation (FPF) announced today that it has filed its motion for summary judgment in Guedes v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, et al., asserting that the ATF exceeded its authority in redefining the term “machinegun”. The motion and other prior filings can be found at BumpstockCase.com.

The brief in support of the motion argues that ATF’s Final Rule, which redefined the term “machinegun” to include bump-stock type devices, contradicts the plain reading of the statutory definition. Additionally, the brief further argues that Chevron deference is inapplicable and constitutionally infirm. 

“The government’s jigger-pokery attempt to turn lawful property into contraband and law-abiding citizens into criminals by usurping the Congress’ power to enact criminal laws while eviscerating the separation of powers is beyond comprehension,” said attorney Joshua Prince of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C. “We are hopeful that the Court will invalidate the Final Rule and order the return of bump-stocks to those who surrendered them under protest.” 

“As we continue litigating the definition of ‘machinegun,’ the government’s position remains as absurd as ever. The suggestion that the ‘plain’ or even ‘best’ meaning of the definition took 80 years to discover and that generations of government experts at the Treasury and Justice Departments were too obtuse to understand such supposedly plain language does not even pass the straight-face test,” attorney Erik Jaffe of Schaerr Jaffe LLP explained.  “Hopefully the court will recognize the error of that claim and invalidate the Final Rule. That result would comport with the long-standing contrary understanding of what constitutes a ‘machinegun,’ and the many legal and constitutional flaws of attempting to give ‘deference’ to an agency that denies it has or has exercised such discretion. And giving the Department of Justice such discretion to criminalize possession of lawful property that Congress itself has never prohibited would violate the Constitution in any event.”

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“When it redefined the term ‘machinegun’, ATF ignored any plain meaning of what the law actually says,” commented attorney Adam Kraut. “Rather than applying the law as written by Congress, ATF conjured up imaginative interpretations of the statutory text at the direction of the President to reach a predetermined result. This cannot pass muster under any legal analysis.” 

Firearms Policy Foundation (www.firearmsfoundation.org) is a grassroots 501(c)3 nonprofit public benefit organization. FPF’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the People’s rights, privileges, and immunities deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition—especially the inalienable, fundamental, and individual right to keep and bear arms.

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