On Friday, a 16-member federal court of appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana, struck down former President Donald Trump's 2018 ban on rifle bump stocks.
The ban was instituted by Trump in 2018 after a 64-year-old man opened fire on a crowd in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2017, from his high-rise casino hotel suite killing 58 people attending a country music concert.
The ban classified the bump stock attachment, which allows multiple rounds to be fired in a short amount of time by using a semi-automatic rifle's recoil to reload the chamber and reset the trigger for the next shot, as a machine gun, which has been banned since 1968.
Gun owners challenged the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ban, and the administration of President Joe Biden has continued defending it in court.
The ban, which does not directly involve the Second Amendment guaranteeing the right to own a gun, but how the attachment is classified, was most recently upheld in federal court circuits in Ohio, Texas, Washington, and Colorado, and will likely end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, according to The Associated Press.
By classifying the bump stock modification as making it into a machine gun, the ATF rule would force owners to surrender or destroy the bump stocks once the ban was enacted, according to the Department of Justice statement at the time of the ban.
"The term 'machine gun' includes bump-stock devices, i.e., devices that allow a semi-automatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semi-automatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter," the December 2018 DOJ statement reads.
The appeals court, however, said in its ruling that although the mechanics of the bump stock allows for rounds to be continuously discharged, the device still only allows for one shot before the trigger needs to be reset, and is therefore not a machine gun.
"The trigger is going to function multiple times," Richard Samp, arguing for a Texas gun owner, told the 5th Circuit judges at the Sept. 13 hearing when arguments were made.
DOJ attorney Mark Stein countered that the shooter only must hold the trigger down to keep firing, fitting the definition of machine guns.
"You only have to do one thing," Stern told the judges. "Your trigger finger isn't doing anything other than sitting still."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.