Today we filed our opening brief in the Sixth Circuit case of Gun Owners of America v. Barr — challenging the district court’s refusal to issue a preliminary injunction to stop the ATF total ban on the private ownership of bump stocks.
Today our firm filed an emergency application for stay with the U.S. Supreme Court (directed to Justice Sotomayor, Circuit Justice for the Sixth Circuit), requesting that the Court stay the effective date of the ATF’s Final Rule banning bump stocks pending review of the case by the Sixth Circuit.
Today our firm filed a 28(j) letter with the Sixth Circuit, citing additional information in the D.C. Circuit cases of Guedes and Codrea. We point out that although the courts have issued stays in these and similar cases, the stays only apply to the specific appellants in each case, and do not grant the nationwide relief to bump stock owners being sought by Gun Owners of America, et al.
The ATF reclassification of bump stocks as machineguns will take effect on Tuesday, March 26. The federal district court in which we challenged this classification change has yet to rule on our motion for an injunction. Therefore, we were forced to file this emergency petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
National Public Radio ran a story about the Trump Administration’s regulation to ban bump stocks, and the legal challenge we filed for Gun Owners of America, in which Rob Olson of our firm was interviewed.
Today, we filed a Petition for Certiorari on behalf of Jeremy Kettler, who was convicted of possessing an unregistered firearm suppressor. Our petition asks the Supreme Court to review the Tenth Circuit’s decision, and to determine whether the National Firearms Act continues to be an appropriate exercise of Congress’s taxing power due to the many changes that have been made to the NFA over the last eight decades. Additionally, if the NFA is still justifiable under the taxing power, we have asked the Court to determine whether firearm accessories such as suppressors are protected by the Second Amendment and whether the NFA is impermissible as a tax on the exercise of a constitutional right.
Today we submitted another set of comments to ATF opposing its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which would reverse long-standing ATF policy to determine, in violation of federal law, that a “bump fire” stock constitutes a “machinegun.” Our comments were filed on behalf of Gun Owners Foundation. Earlier, on January 18, 2018, we filed comments for GOF on the ATF’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held oral argument on the Kettler case. Our co-counsel in the case, Joe Miller, presented oral argument for Mr. Cox. The panel hearing the appeal consisted of Judges Hartz, Seymour and Phillips.
The oral argument my be listened to here.
Today, we filed a reply brief responding to the Government’s brief in opposition on behalf of Jeremy Kettler. Mr. Kettler was convicted in federal district court of possessing a firearm noise suppressor that was not registered to him pursuant to the National Firearms Act (“NFA”). Read our previous discussion of the case and opening brief here.
Today, we filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit as co-counsel for the defendant, Jeremy Kettler. Mr. Kettler was convicted in federal district court of possessing a firearm noise suppressor that was not registered to him pursuant to the National Firearms Act (“NFA”).
In purchasing his suppressor, Mr. Kettler had relied on the Kansas Second Amendment Protection Act which states that a firearm or firearm accessory (such as a suppressor) that is manufactured, owned, and kept entirely within the borders of Kansas is not subject to any federal law. When Mr. Kettler revealed that he purchased such a suppressor, however, agents from the Obama Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”) swooped in to make an example of Mr. Kettler, and his co-defendant Mr. Cox.
In an article on Christmas Eve, Bob Unruh of World Net Daily covered our amicus brief for Gun Owners of America and others opposing the broad federal ban on most machine gun ownership.
Today we filed our second brief in as many months explaining why fully automatic weapons (termed in federal law “machine guns”) are protected “arms” under the Second Amendment — in the Third Circuit. The earlier brief was Hollis v. Lynch, filed on November 2, 2015 — in the Fifth Circuit.
Today, our firm filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit an amicus brief in support of a challenge to the federal machine gun ban, ironically passed as part of the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act.
Under the Gun Control Act (“GCA”), “persons” are generally prohibited from possessing machineguns. A “person” is defined to include entities such a corporation and partnership – but the definition does not include a trust. Moreover, in 2014, ATF took the position that “unincorporated trusts are not ‘persons’ under the GCA.” Based on that understanding that trusts are not persons, the Jay Aubrey Isaac Hollis Revocable Living Trust applied to the ATF for approval to manufacture and register an M-16 machinegun. When ATF eventually revoked the application, the Trust sued, but the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed the case.
Today, our firm filed a Petition for Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, on behalf of Army Reservist David Olofson, urging the Court to grant Certiorari to review the Seventh Circuit decision affirming Olofson’s conviction. The Petition was docketed on August 31, 2009. Amicus briefs are due by September 30, 2009.
Olofson was sentenced to prison for 30 months for transferring a “machine gun” — which really was a lawful-to-own, semi-automatic AR-15 rifle which occasionally manifested a “hammer-follow” malfunction, resulting in short bursts followed by jamming.