GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Hudsonville man has joined Second Amendment rights groups in suing the federal government over its new ban on bump stocks.
Matt Watkins is one of three individuals named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in Grand Rapids’ federal court. Gun Owners of America, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation and Virginia Citizens Defense League are also listed as plantiffs in the case.
>>PDF: Bump stock ban lawsuit
The groups are challenging the U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives over a move to officially ban bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like automatic weapons.
The Second Amendment groups are calling on a judge to rule bump-fire stocks are not machine guns, and stop the ATF from enforcing its ban, which would make it illegal to own a bump stock beginning in late March.
The lawsuit takes aim at the ATF’s reclassification of bump stocks as machine guns for regulation purposes. It claims the ATF’s move was “arbitrary and capricious” and “ignores the plain text of the statute and all prior ATF determinations and opinions” about bump stocks.
Watkins is mentioned only briefly in the 28-page filing. The lawsuit says he is a member of the GOA who would be forced to surrender or destroy his Slide fire bump stock, which is banned under the new restrictions. The lawsuit states Watkins wants to keep using his bump stock for recreational shooting and target practice, and may want to buy more in the future.
The Second Amendment groups say the bump stock ban came to be because President Trump “bowed to political pressure” following the Oct. 1, 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. The shooter’s Mandalay Bay hotel room contained 23 assault-style weapons, including 14 equipped with bump stocks.
The GOA’s executive director tells “The Hill” the Michigan court it chose to file the lawsuit with is in a circuit that is “very pro-gun” and “more skeptical of illegal government regulatory actions.”