Photo: This Photo shows the Slide Fire Solutions SSAK-47-XRS-RH Bump Fire Stock mounted on a GP WASR-10/36 AK-47. Photo Credit: WASR / CC
By John Harris [Tennessee Firearms Association] –
On Friday, September 3, 2021, Tennessee Firearms Association joined Gun Owners of America and other conservative 2nd Amendment advocacy groups in submitting an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in the case of W. Clark Aposhian v, Merrick Garland, Attorney General, et al. (No. 21-159).
This case was initially filed in Utah as one of several federally filed challenges to the ATF’s attempt to expand and materially alter the legislative definition of a machinegun to include other devices which the ATF has historically stated did not meet the definition of a machinegun.
The federal district court had denied the petitioner’s request for an injunction and in so doing it ruled that the ATF’s new reinterpretation of the original 1934 law, which reinterpretation was more than 80 years after the law’s initial passage and which was contrary to several years of contrary interpretations, was the best reading of the statute.
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When the district court denied the initial injunction, the case was appealed by permission to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. On appeal, the 10th Circuit deferred under the Chevron deference doctrine, a rule created by the Supreme Court to allow federal courts to defer to agency interpretations of federal statutes, to hold that the district court’s decision not to grant an injunction prohibiting the bumpstock ban from going into effect was appropriate.
TFA has joined with GOA and other organizations in filing an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in which the parties are asserting that “the court below failed to fulfill its responsibility to “say what the law is” in the face of an agency-made regulation which contradicts both the statutory language and the agency’s prior interpretations made by apolitical experts.
Instead, the court improvidently deferred to a wholesale re-writing of the meaning of the term “machinegun” under § 5845(b), which was a direct result of a president’s political agenda after a national tragedy, and not an act of an agency’s subject matter expertise pursuant to a technical analysis.” Brief at p. 6
If you are a member of the Tennessee Firearms Association and would like to contribute to the legal expenses incurred in filing these briefs with the courts, take action by donating to the effort to help as we increasingly fight for our rights not only in the State legislature but also in the federal courts.