Even though President Trump has enjoyed the support of “pro-gun rights” groups in the past, that hasn’t stopped him from running roughshod over both our right to keep and bear arms as well as the powers of Congress.
Two years ago the Justice Department essentially altered federal law regarding bump stocks following a 2017 mass shooting. The change was made despite not only the Second Amendment barring any infringement on firearms, but also the congressional authority to make laws.
As Reason put it, ‘In effect, the Trump administration rewrote federal gun law in order to achieve the president’s preferred policy outcome.”
Now, even Trump-appointed judges are crying foul. In a March 2 statement regarding the case Guedes v. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch observed that “the law hasn’t changed, only an agency’s interpretation of it,” adding that “these days it sometimes seems agencies change their statutory interpretations almost as often as elections change administrations. Why should courts, charged with the independent and neutral interpretation of the laws Congress has enacted, defer to such bureaucratic pirouetting?”
As Reason reported, Gorsuch isn’t alone. A Trump-appointed U.S. District Court judge in Texas recently held that the “federal government forgot the Tenth Amendment and the structure of the Constitution itself” regarding the bump stock ban. The DoJ justified the bump stock ban with an appeal to the federal police power. As Judge Brantley Starr pointed out, no such thing exists.
Starr’s opinion states further that “it is concerning that the federal government believes it swallowed the states whole. The Court will allow the federal government to try again and explain which enumerated power justifies the federal regulation and whether it allows a taking without compensation.”
Of course, no enumerated power exists in the Constitution, while the Bill of Rights makes it adamantly clear that the federal government itself – not just the executive branch – has no authority to regulate firearms. As the U.S. District Court judge correctly stated, that matter is left to the states or the people respectively.
That is precisely why the people must have their states and local governments nullify any federal actions that would usurp their right to keep and bear arms, a violation of not only the Tenth Amendment but their natural right to self-defense. It is encouraging to see Trump-appointed judges rebuke federal overreach, but the rights of the people cannot be entrusted to another federal branch just as capable of trampling them.