Sales of bump stocks have resumed in three states after federal authorities let a deadline pass to file a legal challenge against a court ruling that invalidated an administrative ban on the devices, which boost firing speed.
Guns shops in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi can now legally sell bump stocks after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) failed to file a motion by a Feb. 27 deadline to block a ruling by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals that in January struck down a federal ban on bump stocks.
'I Wasn't Surprised'The bump stock ban prompted a lawsuit by Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works in Austin, Texas, who was handed a victory when the 5th Circuit ruled to invalidate the ATF ban.
"I wasn't surprised," Cargill told The Dallas Morning News. "I was excited, because I felt that this was the absolute right decision to make."
While the ATF's bump stock ban remains in effect outside Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, the appeals court ruling prevents the agency from enforcing the rule in those three states.
The ATF told media outlets in a statement that it's unable to comment on litigation.
The ATF's decision to impose the ban came after a high-profile mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, in which shooter Stephen Paddock attached the devices to several semiautomatic rifles he used to shoot festivalgoers from his hotel room.
Paddock was found to have fired more than 1,100 rounds of ammunition from the 32nd floor of the Las Vegas Strip hotel where he was staying.
At the time, the Supreme Court refused to block the government from enforcing the ban.
The 5th Circuit Court noted in its ruling that for years prior to the Las Vegas shooting, the ATF held that bump stocks on semi-automatic weapons didn't meet the definition of a machine gun.