A Fort Worth gun retailer has sued the government: RW Arms Ltd. has filed a federal lawsuit seeking monetary damages to compensate them for having to destroy merchandise that is now banned by law.
RW Arms, a wholesaler, distributor, and retailer of firearms accessories and components, including high capacity magazines, performance triggers, scopes, and parts for semi-automatic rifles, destroyed 72,400 bump stocks, in compliance with the Bump Stock Ban that went into effect on March 26.
Bump stocks are an accessory that modifies semi-automatic rifles to shoot faster, mimicking automatic rifles. Bump stocks got in the news after being used in a 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and wounded 851.
RW Arms claims that its loss represents more than $20 million.
The ban, which was enacted by the Trump administration, reclassifies bump stock devices as machine guns, and therefore makes them subject to regulation as part of the Gun Control Act of 1968.
The rule requires that owners destroy or surrender the device without compensation or be subject to a penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines for each violation.
RW Arms joins Minnesota retailer The Modern Sportsman in suing the government for this without compensation. The lawsuit was filed on March 29 in the Court of Federal Claims, Washington, D.C.
Modern Sportsman is no stranger to controversy, having made the news when it opened in 2016 because it opened in a location less than 100 yards from an elementary school.
A statement by the owners of RW Arms says their rights are being infringed upon, and now it will be up to us taxpayers to reimburse them. How much? RW Arms co-founder Mark Maxwell told the Washington Times that their losses totaled more than $20 million.
"Without legislation, the government was able to overturn the previous ruling on bump stocks effectively turning law abiding gun owners into felons overnight if they were not turned in or destroyed," their statement says. "This is an injustice, overreach, and infringement on our 2nd amendment and 5th amendment rights. We at RW Arms have been working behind the scenes preparing for this fight and have now filed lawsuit against the government to protect our rights and the rights of our customers from being infringed any further."