The chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, Clark Aposhian, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Utah. The suit challenges the executive authority to ban bump stocks.
The Trump administration issued an executive order that makes possession of a bump stock illegal after March 26, 2019. The order classifies bump stocks as machine guns, and machine guns are illegal under federal law.
Regulation of bump stocks received national attention after several mass shootings. A bump stock was used in the Las Vegas shooting. A bump stock is an attachment to a semi-automatic rifle which enables a shooter to shoot more bullets and faster.
Clark Aposhian, the Plaintiff, contends the new law makes criminals out of people who previously lawfully owned a bump stock.
Specifically, the lawsuit contends that the bump stock ban is unconstitutional because it’s Congress’s job to write laws, not the president’s.
“The Constitution was very deliberate. It said that Congress makes the laws through a bicameral process and then presents it to the president for signature. And that’s how we make laws and how we bind citizens to their obligations,” Plaintiff’s Counsel said. “And this turns that whole process upside down.”
Status of the Lawsuit
The U.S. District Court denied the request for a preliminary injunction to block the ban. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals granted a temporary stay that only applied to the Plaintiff. Later, the Court denied a motion for a stay. The case is not currently pending in the Court to be heard on the merits.
Other Legal Challenges
Aposhian is not the only Plaintiff to challenge the bump stock ban. The group Gun Owners of America filed suit in the Western District of Michigan. The suit is based on the same grounds, challenging the executive authority to create the rule.
The group failed to obtain a preliminary injunction in the federal trial court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to block the new rules as well.
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Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Defense Attorney in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
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