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Pro-gun group challenges Trump administration move banning bump stocks

Posted at 12:36 PM, Dec 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-27 12:36:50-05

A bump stock device (left) that fits on a semi-automatic rifle to increase the firing speed, making it similar to a fully automatic rifle, is seen on a AK-47 semi-automatic rifle (right). A pro-gun group is suing the Trump administration over its recent move to ban bump-fire stocks.

A pro-gun group is suing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Justice Department over the Trump administration’s recent move to ban bump-fire stocks.

On Thursday, the Gun Owners of America announced that it, along with its foundation, was challenging the recent ban on the devices, and asked for an injunction to prevent the ban from going forward and being enforced.

“These dangerous regulations can go much farther than just bump stocks,” said Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, 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.”

The Trump administration announced earlier this month it was officially banning bump-fire stocks after the device gained attention over its role in the deadly Las Vegas massacre last year. There, a gunman rigged his weapons with the devices, fired on concertgoers and killed 58 people.

CNN previously reported that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker signed the new rule earlier this month, according to Justice Department officials.

The officials told CNN that they took a “fresh look” at the case law, technology, and the devices and their functionality “in light of modern developments.”

The conclusion was that bump-fire stocks, “slide-fire” devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics all fall within the prohibition on machine guns by allowing a “shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger,” and therefore, they are illegal under federal law.

The officials also previously told CNN that they stood ready to defend against any challenges to the rule, and pointed to the fact that the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department signed off on it.

In October 2017, a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association said that the ATF “should review bump-fire stocks to ensure they comply with federal law,” but made clear it opposed the broader gun-control legislation raised by some in Congress.