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Last Man In America To Legally Own Bump Stock Hands It Over To Feds

Photo of bump stock.
Wikimedia Commons
Clark Aposhian, a firearms lobbyist in Salt Lake City, has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's ban on bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns.

A federal court has ruled that the last man in America to legally own a bump stock must hand it over to the government.

The shooting accessories were banned by the Trump administration more than a year after a Nevada man used one to shoot hundreds of people at a country music festival in Las Vegas. The president said they turn semi-automatic weapons into illegal machine guns.

“We’re knocking out bump stocks,” President Trump told reporters in October 2018. “I’ve told the NRA. Bump stocks are gone.”

Bump stock owners were told to either destroy the accessories or hand them over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms by the end of March. But Clark Aposhian, a firearms lobbyist in Salt Lake City, was an exception.

He had filed suit against the ban in January and received a temporary stay to keep his bump stock until a final ruling.

“This lawsuit is primarily about government overreach,” Aposhian said. “If we’re going to start down the road of banning, restricting, mitigating, and registering items that one person uses, we’re going to have a pretty long list of things we’re restricted from.”

On Tuesday, the U.S. 10th District Court of Appeals issued a two-page ruling that his temporary stay was “not warranted.”

Aposhian will now need to hand over his bump stock to the federal government until the lawsuit is resolved. The bump stock will be held in safekeeping by the federal government in case Aposhian is successful in his suit.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Reno, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.

Correction 4:35 p.m. MT 5/2/19: A previous version of this story stated Aposhian filed his lawsuit in Februaru. The suit was filed in January of 2019.

Nate Hegyi is the Utah reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau, based at KUER. He covers federal land management agencies, indigenous issues, and the environment. Before arriving in Salt Lake City, Nate worked at Yellowstone Public Radio, Montana Public Radio, and was an intern with NPR's Morning Edition. He received a master's in journalism from the University of Montana.
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