Washington, DC (January 8, 2020) – Congress—and only Congress—has the power to write new laws, but a video released today by the New Civil Liberties Alliance features the case of Austin, Texas resident Michael Cargill, who believes the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) did not act lawfully when it rewrote a statute banning bump stocks. Cargill says the ATF (along with the U.S. Department of Justice) failed to follow the law when they issued a regulation criminalizing the possession of bump stocks effective March 26, 2019. Cargill surrendered two bump stocks to his local Austin ATF Field Office in accordance with the Final Rule, but he is challenging the ban in federal court with NCLA’s help.

Video Excerpts:

Michael Cargill, NCLA client: “The bump stock ban turned innocent law-abiding citizens into criminals overnight even though they were compliant with the statute. And you know that’s not right.”

Caleb Kruckenberg, Litigation Counsel, NCLA: “The goal of our case here is to tell ATF that they can’t get away with this kind of administrative law-making. This isn’t constitutionally permissible, and it goes against everything that our nation was founded on.”

Mark Chenoweth, Executive Director & General Counsel, NCLA: “This case is not about where you stand on bump stocks. It’s about the rule of law. It’s about whether an agency can rewrite a statute and turn a law-abiding citizen into a criminal. If ATF can ban bumps stocks in this way, any agency can ban anything.”


NCLA is a nonprofit civil rights organization founded by prominent legal scholar Philip Hamburger to protect constitutional freedoms from violations by the Administrative State. NCLA’s public-interest litigation and other pro bono advocacy strive to tame the unlawful power of state and federal agencies and to foster a new civil liberties movement that will help restore Americans’ fundamental rights.For more information, visit us online: NCLAlegal.org.

Click here to download