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Gun rights group sues Trump administration over bump stock ban

Gun Owners of America is challenging the legality of the new regulation, calling it 'dangerous'

George Frey/Getty Images

Pro-Second Amendment group Gun Owners of America announced Wednesday that it has filed a lawsuit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Justice Department over the Trump administration's recent ban on bump stocks.

GOA — which represents more than 1.5 million members — is joined in its suit by a coalition of other organizations and individuals asking for an injunction on the new regulation and questioning its legality altogether.

What are the details?

Following the horrific mass murder in Las Vegas in October 2017, the term "bump stock" became a household word and a target of gun control advocates, after it was discovered that the firearm accessory had been used in the killings. Bump stocks speed up the firing rate of semi-automatic weapons.

Under a new directive from the ATF, Americans in possession of bump stocks must either destroy the devices or turn them in to law enforcement, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Last week, the Justice Department announced that it is amending federal law in order to reclassify bump stock accessories to fall under the definition of "machine guns," which are already illegal. Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker signed the rule earlier this month, which goes into effect in the spring 2019 unless it is successfully challenged.

Erich Pratt, GOA executive director, released a statement arguing, "These dangerous regulations can go much further than just bump stocks 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."

According to the news release, GOA's position is not only to protect the right to keep and bear arms, but to fight against the government illegally imposing regulatory actions.

Anything else?

Visibly absent from the suit was the National Rifle Association, which issued a statement last week explaining that while it did not believe the ban would be effective, it took more of a political stance — reminding members that the organization asked Congress to allow the ATF to reconsider its long-term definition of bump stocks in order to avoid legislative action that could have led to a further erosion of gun rights.

The NRA added that "it's critical that all gun owners unite and prevent the Bloomberg-bought Congress from dismantling our Second Amendment freedom."

The gun rights organization did not address the prospect of future gun control regulations being imposed from the executive branch, either by President Donald Trump or future administrations. In particular, if former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg himself were to someday end up in the Oval Office.

One last thing…
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