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Pro-gun group seeks to reverse federal ban on bump stocks

By Allen Cone
Pro-gun group seeks to reverse federal ban on bump stocks
A bump stock permits the trigger (red) to be held down when the receiver moves forward, being reset each round by receiver recoil, allowing semi-automatic firearms to somewhat mimic fully automatic weapons. Photo by Phoenix7777/Wikimedia Commons

Dec. 27 (UPI) -- A pro-gun group's lawsuit is seeking to overturn the Trump administration's planned ban on bump stocks.

Gun Owners of America, as well as other pro-gun groups and individuals, filed a suit Wednesday in the Western District of Michigan that opposes the restriction on devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.

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They are asking the court for an injunction to block the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from moving forward with the ban, which was announced by the Department of Justice on Dec. 18. The ATF is part of the Department of Justice.

Once the final rule is published in the Federal Register, owners have 90 days to destroy their devices or turn them in at the nearest ATF office.

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In the rule change, the regulatory definition of a "machine gun" includes devices similar to bump stocks, subjecting them to the restrictions imposed by existing firearm regulations. Machine guns fire automatically by pulling the trigger once, unlike bump stocks that cannot be fired with one hand.

"These dangerous regulations can go much farther than just bump stocks," Erich Pratt, executive director of GOA, said in a statement. "The goal of the anti-gun left is, ultimately, not just banning bump stocks, but, rather, putting 'points on the board' toward its goal of banning civilian ownership of all firearms."

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The ATF and White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Hill.

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Investigators said a gunman used bump stocks in the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017, killing 59 people.

"Bowing to the political pressure that followed, President Trump ordered that ATF reclassify bump stocks as machineguns through regulation -- despite the clarity of federal law and ATF's consistent legal conclusions to the contrary."

It added the decision "is a political decision designed to circumvent the legislative process, not a legal one based on any technical evaluation."

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