Grass Roots North Carolina / Forum For Firearms Education
Post Office Box 10665, Raleigh, NC 27605
877.282.0939 (Phone) 919.573.0354 (Fax)




Release date: January 11, 2022


5th Circuit strikes down bump stock ban:

Broad implications for gun regulation

Grass Roots North Carolina, Gun Owners of America & other gun groups

file brief cited by 5th Circuit in striking down bump stock ban


[Raleigh] On January 6, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the ban on bump stocks enacted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in 2017. Cited in the Court’s majority decision were arguments made in the amicus curiae brief filed on behalf of Grass Roots North Carolina, Gun Owners of America, and several other gun groups.

The case is Cargill v. Garland et al. At issue is the fact that the ATF unilaterally reversed its interpretation of the definition of “machine gun,” which is defined in U.S. code as a firearm capable of firing more than one bullet with the single function of its trigger. Bump stocks do not meet that definition because they do not change the function of common semi-automatic firearms capable of firing only one bullet per trigger depression.

The broader issue is that the ATF, as part of the Executive Branch of government, lacks constitutional authority to make laws – a power delegated by the Constitution only to the Legislative Branch. The decision is particularly timely given that the ATF is expect to issue another regulation later this month which could make felons of anyone owning one of an estimated 4 million AR-15-style pistols equipped with pistol stabilizing braces. Like the bump stock ban, the pending regulation is expected to once again reverse the ATF position on devices it previously determined to be legal.

Although the decision is not binding legal precedent in North Carolina’s Fourth Circuit, the fact that contradictory opinions have now been rendered by the 5th, 6th, 10th, and D.C. Circuits greatly increase the chance of the U.S. Supreme Court granting a writ of certiorari to the Cargill case.

GRNC president Paul Valone issued the following statement:

“Grass Roots North Carolina celebrates the decision of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in striking down the ban on so-called “bump stocks” which, despite claims by the ATF, do not meet the statutory definition of machine guns. Firearms equipped with bump stocks still fire one bullet per depression of the trigger, just like hunting rifles owned by millions of lawful citizens.

“GRNC members should be proud that arguments made in the amicus brief we filed in conjunction with other organizations were cited in the Court’s majority decision, and we are especially pleased that the decision calls into question the practice of a regulatory agency like the ATF doing an end-run around the Legislative Branch. Under the Constitution, laws must be passed by a Congress duly elected by citizens, not un-elected bureaucrats in federal agencies.” 


Founded in 1994, Grass Roots North Carolina is an all-volunteer 501(c)(4) organization dedicated to preserving individual liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights with emphasis on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.