Garland v. Cargill concerns whether bump stocks are considered “machineguns” as defined by Title 26 of the United States Code. Impacting the realms of both Second Amendment and Administrative Law, the case raises questions concerning the role of lenity, the applicability of the Chevron Doctrine, and the nature of the ATF’s authority. Bump stocks are devices attached to semi-automatic firearms to increase the rate of fire. In 2019, the ATF issued a rule that bumpstocks themselves were machineguns, and thus subject to the rules of Title 26, which marked a significant shift in federal policy. Michael Cargill, the owner of Central Texas Gun Works, challenged this reclassification, arguing it was an unconstitutional overreach by the ATF and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Fifth Circuit of Appeals ruled in his favor. A significant circuit split on this issue now exists, with the Fifth and Sixth Circuits holding that bump stocks are not machineguns, while the D.C. and Tenth Circuits have held that they are. The oral argument in Cargill is set to be heard before the Supreme Court on February 28, 2024.
Join us the next day as we break down and analyze how oral argument went before the Court.


Stephen Halbrook, Senior Fellow, Independent Institute
(Moderator) Robert Leider, Assistant Professor of Law, George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School

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