'Bump stock' lawsuit argues for just compensation from gov't

Thursday, April 18, 2019
 | 
J.M. Phelps (OneNewsNow.com)

bump stock imageA Fort Worth-based retailer was the larger seller of "bump stocks" in the U.S. – until an executive order sent their inventory to the shredder.

An order signed on February 20, 2018, by President Donald Trump empowered the Department of Justice to impose a ban on bump stocks and other rapid-firing modifications to semi-automatic weapons. The ban, which went into effect on March 26, 2019, and required one company – RW Arms – to turn over 72,400 bump stocks to the DOJ's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Mark Maxwell, co-founder of RW Arms and a veteran of the Marine Corps, tells OneNewsNow the wholesaler, distributor, and retailer has filed suit in the Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC.

RW Arms accompanies The Modern Sportsman in suing the government for violating the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution – specifically, its unjust regulatory taking of property without just compensation. The Modern Sportsman et al., v. United States was filed March 29.

Maxwell says RW Arms is seeking monetary damages for the fair market value (up to $20 million) of the 72,400 bump stocks the company was forced to turn over the ATF and destroy in compliance with the ban.

The veteran believes the entire ordeal of the ban "is the water being tested to see if the general public is okay with banning something." Then, he says, "they'll see what's next."

It begs an obvious question, he says. "Will the possibility of future bans include other firearms accessories and components, like high-capacity magazines, performance triggers, scopes, and parts for semi-automatic rifles?" he asks – adding that, in his opinion, it's a "slippery slope."

Although upholding the Second Amendment is part of the fight, Maxwell discloses the case is directed more toward the Fifth amendment.

"We had property taken from us, when it was completely legal for us to have it," he argues. "Because of a rule change – and without legislation – they forced us to destroy it. There should be just compensation.

"Even without a violation of the Second Amendment – and even if the case was not gun-related – there would still be a Fifth amendment case here," he adds.

When the rule change happened, the RW Arms co-founder says "it went against what the ATF had previously said [about bump stocks]." As a result, he is convinced the order was actually pushed on the Trump administration by the DOJ – not by the ATF.

Despite implementation of the ban and the subsequent suit filed in court, Maxwell points out his support for President Trump continues. He says he's not a "single-issue voter" and that Trump has his vote in the next election – but he does believe the bump stock issue is an area Trump didn't fully understand. The president's executive order, he says, may have been "a knee-jerk reaction," and in his opinion "it was just the wrong way to go about it."

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