Washington Examiner

Lummis and GOP colleagues file amicus brief urging Supreme Court to lift bump stock ban

By Emily Jacobs

EXCLUSIVE — Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and eight of her GOP colleagues filed an amicus curiae brief with the Supreme Court on Friday in support of gun owners fighting the federal government’s ban on bump stocks. 

The high court is weighing whether to uphold a federal appeals court ban on bump stocks, which are devices that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire multiple rounds quickly. The ban was imposed in 2019 under then-President Donald Trump. He ordered the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to review the devices in response to the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting. 

In 2018, the ATF ordered those who possessed bump stocks to either destroy them or turn them into a local ATF office by March 2019. The bureau reclassified bump stocks at the time as “machine guns” under the National Firearms Act, which is the subject of the Supreme Court challenge. 

The court will be tasked with deciding in Garland v. Cargill if the ATF exceeded its authority with the 2018 reclassification and ban.

Lummis’s brief, provided exclusively to the Washington Examiner ahead of its filing, asserts that the ATF ban is “not only an egregious violation of the people of Wyoming’s right to bear arms but also represents a dangerous new frontier of federal bureaucrats interpreting federal law in expansive new ways Congress clearly did not intend, including by weaponizing the Chevron doctrine to create new federal crimes out of thin air.”

“The ATF’s job is to interpret existing laws passed by Congress, not grant itself sweeping authority to confiscate firearms from law-abiding Wyoming gun-owners as is the case with the bump stock ban,” Lummis said in a statement. “Garland v. Cargill represents a true fork-in-the-road moment for gun rights in America. The people of Wyoming have a long history of responsible gun ownership to protect their family and property, and I will not allow gun grabbers in Washington to change that.”

“We cannot allow unelected bureaucrats at the ATF to abuse their authority and interpret laws in a way Congress clearly never intended. This case is critical to preserving our Second Amendment rights and preventing the kind of gun-grabbing overreach far-left activists are desperate to see,” Sen. Pete Ricketts (R-NE), who signed on to the brief, said.

Lummis was joined on the brief by Ricketts and Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Lee (R-UT), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). University of Wyoming law professor George A. Mocsary and Independence Institute counsel David B. Kopel also signed on.