A federal appeals court rejects a highly implausible redefinition of machine guns.
by Jacob Sullum
Two years ago, peaceful, law-abiding gun owners across the country became felons overnight, thanks to the Trump administration’s ban on bump stocks. But as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit recognized last week, Congress alone has the authority to define new federal crimes, while the president and his underlings are charged with enforcing those laws.
Combining both powers in a single branch is a license for tyranny—a danger the Framers tried to avoid by carefully separating the legislative and executive functions. Regardless of their views on gun control, Americans who care about the rule of law should be troubled by the implications of letting unelected bureaucrats unilaterally and arbitrarily criminalize previously legal conduct.