Austin, Texas, gun store owner Michael Cargill has filed a lawsuit against the ATF because of the federal government’s recent bump stock ban.
The U.S. Department of Justice issued the federal ban on bump stocks in a decision it made in December.
Bump stock owners were given 90 days to destroy or turn in their devices, but that grace period ended at midnight earlier this week.
Despite turning in his bump stocks to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) field office on Monday, March 26, 2019, Cargill refused to sign paperwork giving the government permission to destroy these devices.
Cargill stood firmly against this measure saying “I’m going to comply. I’m going to turn it in, but I’m going to fight. I’m going to fight for everyone in the State of Texas and this country.”
The Las Vegas massacre of October 2017, where 58 people were killed, became a rallying point for gun control advocates nationwide. Authorities said some of the firearms used to carry out the massacre were equipped with bump stocks, which compelled states like Florida, Maryland, and Vermont to take action by passing bump stock bans of their own.
The federal government eventually caught up with states by issuing a bump stock ban late last year.
Ed Scruggs, the vice chair of Texas Gun Sense, defended the bump stock ban.
After Las Vegas, it was undeniable what they do and it was undeniable the destructive power they have and they had to act.
According to Jennifer Kendall of Fox 7, a “bump stock attaches to a semi-automatic rifle to allow a shooter to fire continuously by using the recoil of the firearm to hit the trigger in rapid succession.”
Scruggs continued justifying the need for a bump stock ban:
For practical use it serves no purpose, other than to kill more people, so why in this society, with the violence going on now, do we need those.
Bump stocks were originally not subject to stiff government regulation because they did not fall under the legal definition of a machine gun. In other words, guns that used bump stocks still had to have the trigger be pulled for each shot.
This is all changed in 2018 when the Department of Justice issued a new ruling declaring that bump stocks fall under the fully automatic category and were subject to the same regulations that automatic weapons faced.
Cargill made his opposition to this ruling clear:
There needs to be a clear message sent to the federal government that, as a citizen who legally purchased an item, I should be able to have that item.
Cargill teamed up with the New Civil Liberties Alliance law firm to file this lawsuit against the ATF. They contend that the Justice Department doesn’t have the authority to conduct this ban. Instead, they argue that changes in the law should be carried out by Congress.
Scruggs countered, “Well, the power of a regulatory agency, they can change regulations all the time.”
Cargill is filing the lawsuit against the ATF, the U.S. Attorney General and the Department of Justice in order to overturn the regulation.
The seasoned gun rights activist won’t be going down without a fight. In his concluding remarks, Cargill stated, “If you step on the rights of the people who believe in the second amendment, then my job is to put my foot on your throat.”
After this grace period, any individual in possession of a bump stock can be subject to heavy fines and ten years in prison.
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