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Obama-Appointed Federal Judge Upholds ATF’s Bump Stock Ban

A federal judge rejected an effort to block enforcement of a ban on so-called “bump stocks” in a ruling released Friday.

United States District Judge Jill N. Parrish, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, rejected the effort to halt the ban, saying that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BAFTE) was interpreting the 1934 National Firearms Act. BATFE enacted the ban in December 2018 following a mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and wounded over 500.

“Although the parties suggest that the court ought to engage once again in best-interpretation analysis of the underlying statute, this court follows the Tenth Circuit’s directive to apply Chevron in reviewing the ATF regulation,” Parrish wrote. “And because this court concludes that the regulation is an appropriate exercise of the agency’s discretion to fill gaps implicitly left by Congress, it declines to declare the rule unlawful or enjoin its enforcement.”

Parrish cited the case Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., in which the Supreme Court ruled that courts must defer to federal agencies’ interpretations of ambiguous laws. The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case, Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, that could overturn the so-called “Chevron doctrine.”

The Supreme Court declined to take up a case involving the bump stock ban in October, allowing a ruling in favor of the ban by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to stand.

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