You would think that California’s doyenne of civilian disarmament, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, would be as happy as a pig in slop about President Trump unconstitutionally and arbitrarily re-classifying bump stocks at machine guns. But in a lengthy op-ed piece she wrote for the Washington Post, Feinstein stated the following;
(L)et’s not celebrate too quickly. Presidents can rescind regulations just as easily as they create them, and in this case, the bump stock ban will likely be tied up in court for years. Only hours after the Trump administration released its final regulation, Gun Owners of America announced it would file a lawsuit.
What did DiFi mean by that? Displaying rare intellectual honesty where gun laws are concerned, even she recognizes that Trump’s actions were wrong.
ATF initially concluded that it could not ban these devices through regulation in 2008. And after the 2012 shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., ATF further explained in a 2013 letter to Congress that it could not take unilateral action because “stocks of this type are not subject to the provisions of federal firearms statutes.” In addition, internal ATF documents made public through Freedom of Information Act requests by Giffords Law Center and Democracy Forward show that the agency had reiterated its lack of authority to ban bump stocks unilaterally and that it had approved similar devices as recently as April 2017.
Yet that’s exactly what Trump apparently commanded that they do.
Reversing the agency’s statutory interpretation leaves this new regulation especially vulnerable to legal challenges, particularly given that it held the same position under the Trump administration as the Obama administration. Further, the Justice Department laid out potential legal and constitutional challenges to the regulation in a 157-page report, providing a road map for the gun lobby to challenge it.
This take on bump stock regulation isn’t new for Feinstein. Back in 2017 she acknowledged that an ATF-mandated bump stock ban wouldn’t fly.
Credit where it’s due. She was right then and she’s right now. Even an inveterate gun-grabber like Diane Feinstein knows that Trump administration and BATFE screwed the pooch on this one (with an assist from the NRA).
So it seems that DiFi realizes that a bump stock ban by regulatory fiat stands on very thin ice. Why couldn’t the Trump administration see that? Or did they?
Meanwhile, the Firearms Policy Foundation is adding plaintiffs to its lawsuit:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 27, 2018) — Yesterday, attorneys in the Guedes v. BATFE federal bump-stock lawsuit filed an amended complaint, adding Florida Carry, Inc. and Missouri State Rep. Shane Roden as plaintiffs. Florida Carry and Rep. Roden both own bump-stock devices.
In addition to serving as the elected representative for District 111 of the Missouri House of Representatives, Roden is a firefighter/paramedic since 2003, a reserve sheriff deputy, and a SWAT operator/medic for the Camden County Sheriff’s Office. Florida Carry has over 30,000 registered members and supporters, including members residing in all counties through the state of Florida and in other states.
“Florida Carry has been and remains strongly opposed to the Trump Administration’s unlawful and unconstitutional bump-stock rule,” said Sean Caranna, executive director of Florida Carry. “We are delighted to join this case and defend the rights of our organization and our members and supporters.”
A copy of the court filings can be viewed at www.bumpstockcase.com.
FPF also announced that former institutional plaintiff Firearms Policy Coalition has withdrawn from the case in order to proceed separately in a new legal challenge brought by Supreme Court attorney Thomas Goldstein of Goldstein & Russel, P.C.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Joshua Prince and Adam Kraut of Firearms Industry Consulting Group, a division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C. Prince and Kraut previously filed a nearly 1,000-page formal opposition to the proposed regulation, which included a video exhibit showing the actual operation of a “bump-stock” device on an AR-15 type firearm. That opposition and its 35 exhibits can be viewed at www.bit.ly/fpc-bumpstock-reg-opposition.
Firearms Policy Foundation (www.firearmsfoundation.org) is a 501(c)3 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPF’s mission is to 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.