Texas Gun Company Sues United States over Reported $20 Million Loss from Bump Stock Ban
A Texas company has filed suit claiming that its rights were violated by the federal government’s ban on bump stocks, and it has sued to collect damages.
RW Arms Ltd. filed the suit in conjunction with The Modern Sportsman, a Minnesota-based retailer, the company announced in a news release.
The Fort Worth-based RW Arms said it had to destroy 73,436 bump stocks to comply with the bump stock ban that took effect on March 26.
RW Arms claims that because it was forced to destroy its inventory of bump stocks, this amounted to a loss of over $20 million, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Bump stocks allow the user of a semi-automatic weapon to increase its rate of fire. They came to the attention of policymakers after they were used by the gunman in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting.
Prior to that time, bump stocks were not classified as machine guns, which allowed them to be sold legally. That changed when the Trump administration issued new regulations in December that took effect last month.
As noted by RW Arms, the ban “reclassifies bump stock devices as machine guns, and therefore subject to regulation as part of the Gun Control Act of 1968.”
“The rule requires that previously lawful owners destroy or surrender the device without compensation or be subject to a penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines for each violation,” the company’s news release stated.
The release stated the new rule forces owners of what was a legal product to destroy what they legally purchased and “is a physical taking of their property without just compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
“Without legislation, the government was able to overturn the previous ruling on bump stocks effectively turning law-abiding gun owners into felons overnight if they were not turned in or destroyed,” RW Arms co-founder Michael Stewart said in the release.
“This is an injustice, overreach, and infringement on our Second Amendment and Fifth Amendment rights. We appreciate the work of Gun Owners of America and Firearms Policy Coalition for continuing to fight for our rights. We at RW Arms have been working behind the scenes preparing for this fight and have now filed lawsuit against the government to protect our rights and the rights of our customers from being infringed any further,” he added.
“The Fifth Amendment is pretty clear, and I think as long as we follow what is clearly written, we’ll be fine,” RW Arms co-founder Mark Maxwell said in the release. “This happened to us directly. We’re not the only ones.”
The lawsuit noted that the brunt of the federal rule affected gun owners who had followed previous guidance by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms as to what was legal to own.
“More than ten previous classification decisions from the ATF have classified bump-stocks as a firearm part or accessory, which hundreds-of-thousands of citizens relied on when purchasing these devices. Because the ATF has long classified bump-stocks as mere firearm accessories, owners of devices classified as firearm accessories had an investment-backed expectation in their bump-stocks as firearm accessories,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit argues confiscation of legal property has never happened before
“A federal law or regulation that requires previously lawful owners of property to destroy or surrender said property, without just compensation, is unprecedented in the history of the United States,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit does not only impact the company.
Maxwell, one co-founder of RW Arms, was forced to destroy 29 bump stocks he owned while Stewart, the other co-founder, destroyed 25 bump stocks, the lawsuit states.
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