SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A federal judge has denied a Utah gun rights advocate’s attempt to block the Trump administration’s ban on bump stocks, the gun attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns.
U.S. District Judge Jill Parrish declined last Friday to grant an injunction against the regulation that gives gun owners until next week to turn in or destroy the devices, The Salt Lake Tribune reported .
Utah Shooting Sports Council chairman Clark Aposhian filed a lawsuit in January after the administration reclassified the devices to make them illegal under the same federal laws that prohibit machine guns.
Aposhian argued the ban is unconstitutional, asking the court to pause it until his suit is resolved. He claimed that the executive branch cannot rewrite laws “as it sees fit.”
The suit named the U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Aposhian is represented by the nonprofit New Civil Liberties Alliance.
“At its most basic, this is about constitutional order and about who has lawmaking power,” said Caleb Kruckenberg, litigation counsel for the civil rights organization. “The Constitution was very deliberate. It said that Congress makes the laws through a bicameral process and then presents it to the president for signature. And that’s how we make laws and how we bind citizens to their obligations. And this turns that whole process upside down.”
Parrish found that Aposhian did not show a “substantial likelihood of success” on the merits of his suit. The judge in her ruling acknowledged that Aposhian will suffer harm by being required to destroy or surrender a bump stock, but it’s unlikely his challenge to the validity of the ban will be successful.
Bump stocks entered the gun control debate after they were used during the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. A man in October 2017 fired into a crowd at a Las Vegas country music concert, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.
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