The executive branch and affected citizens asked the court to do what courts usually do in statutory interpretation disputes: supply its best independent judgment about what the law means. But, instead of deciding the case the old-fashioned way, the court placed an uninvited thumb on the scale in favor of the government.
That was mistaken.
Despite these concerns, I agree with my colleagues that the interlocutory petition before us does not merit review. The errors apparent in this preliminary ruling might yet be corrected before final judgment. Further, other courts of appeals are actively considering challenges to the same regulation. Before deciding whether to weigh in, we would benefit from hearing their considered judgments—provided, of course, that they are not afflicted with the same problems. But waiting should not be mistaken for lack of concern.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
DAMIEN GUEDES, ET AL. v. BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES, ET AL. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT No. 19–296. Decided March 2, 2020
[I have never owned a bump stock and almost for certain never will. For long distance work a bolt gun serves my needs best. For close up work aimed fire from a semi-auto appears to be optimal.
As near as I can tell a bump stock is best suited for converting money into noise. While I can understand that could be a reasonable use of someone else’s money it’s generally not something I want to do with my money.
That said, just because I don’t anticipate the use of one for myself I regard the ban on bump stocks to be extremely concerning. The law quite clearly does not forbid the ownership or use of a bump stock. Yet the administration insisted the law means something entirely different from what it says. This sort of behavior is not acceptable.
While there is still a decent chance SCOTUS will correct the mistake it is important to note that a right delayed is a right denied.
If it were up to me the court will slap the administration down so hard their ears ring as if they had a dozen bump stock equipped rifles emptying 100 round magazines simultaneously near their unprotected ears. Then I would recommended them for prosecution under 18 USC 242 and tell them, Enjoy. Your. Trial.—Joe]