Federal Government Files For a Rehearing En Banc of GOA v. Garland

With three hours left in the deadline, the federal government filed a petition for a rehearing en banc of Gun Owners of America V. Garland. The government asked the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to agree to rehear the case.

Gun Owners of America v. Garland centers around the ATF’s (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) decision to reclassify bump stocks as machine guns. The move to make a sliding piece of plastic and fully automatic firearm came after a mass murder at a country music festival in Las Vegas. The authorities said the killer used a bump stock to simulate automatic gunfire.

Gun Owners of America argued that bump stocks are not machine guns because, under ATF’s own definition, a machine is a gun the expels multiple rounds with a “single function of the trigger.” A bump stock doesn’t change how the trigger works in a firearm. Each pull of the trigger only fires a single round; therefore doesn’t change a semi-automatic rifle to a fully automatic gun.

The regulation reads:

the term ‘machinegun’ means any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any combination of parts designed and intended for use in converting a weapon into a machinegun, and any combination of parts from which a machinegun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.

The panel of three judges from the Sixth Circuit Court ruled that a firearm equipped with a bump stock does not meet the definition of a machine by a margin of two to one.

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