Houston, TX — Good news for gun owners keeping their eye on the legal battle over the bump stock ban. In Houston yesterday, in the first case where an American was charged with a crime for posessing the now-banned item, the prosecutor dropped the charge entirely.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the prosecutor had good reason to drop the charge. A former ATF agent was prepared to testify that a bump stock wasn’t, in fact, a machine gun.
Senior U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller convicted Ajay Dhingra, 44, on three remaining counts that he lied when he purchased a handgun, rifle and ammunition, and illegally possessed a weapon as a person who had been committed for mental illness.
Experts had conflicting views on the [bump stock] matter, said defense attorney Tom Berg. But Rick Vasquez, a retired ATF agent and firearms expert, would have told the court the bump stock did not meet the statutory definition of a machine gun. The prosecution dismissed [the] case, he said, because the government couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt the bump stock was a machine gun.
Rather than risk losing the entire case on such a flimsy charge, the prosecutor dropped it entirely.
Gun owners haven’t forgotten when Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker made a new administrative rule in December of 2018, effectively pronouncing that bump stocks fell within the federal definition of “machine gun”.
Of course, it’s preposterous to think that a piece of plastic without a chamber, barrel etc can be classified as a machine gun. But when dealing with the ATF, consistency or logic just aren’t part of the equation.
We’re watching the same incompetence and overreach with the Honey Badger pistol grip fiasco.
What a joke.