January 29, 2024

Ricketts Signs Brief to Defend Gun Owners and Second Amendment

January 29, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday,U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) joined Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and others to file an amici curiae brief that urges the U.S. Supreme Court and the Biden administration to stop taking Second Amendment rights away from Americans.

“We cannot allow unelected bureaucrats at the ATF to abuse their authority and interpret laws in a way Congress clearly never intended,” said Ricketts. “This case is critical to preserving our Second Amendment rights and preventing the kind of gun-grabbing overreach far-left activists are desperate to see.”

“The ATF’s job is to interpret existing laws passed by Congress, not grant itself sweeping authority to confiscate firearms from law-abiding Wyoming gun-owners as is the case with the bump stock ban,” said Lummis. “Garland v. Cargill represents a true fork-in-the-road moment for gun rights in America. The people of Wyoming have a long history of responsible gun ownership to protect their family and property, and I will not allow gun grabbers in Washington to change that.”

Ricketts and Lummis were joined in filing the brief by Senators John Barrasso (R-WY), Mike Lee (R-UT), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steve Daines (R-MT), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). The senators were also joined by University of Wyoming Law Professor George A. Mocsary, Independence Institute Counsel David B. Kopel, and the leading professors of Second Amendment and firearms law in the United States.

Full text of the brief can be found here


Michael Cargill, the plaintiff, bought two bump stocks in April 2018, before the ATF issued its final rule outlawing them, but turned in the devices in March 2019 after the ban went into effect. That same day, he filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Texas challenging the ban on numerous grounds. The district court sided with the federal government and upheld the ban.

A three-judge appeals court panel of the Fifth Circuit agreed with the district court’s conclusion that bump stocks qualify as machineguns under federal law, and were subject to a 1986 ban under the National Firearms Act.

However, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed the lower court’s decision.

Following the ruling by the Fifth Circuit, the Biden administration asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in.