Supreme Court strikes down federal ban on bump stocks

Date:

Join Fox News for access to this content

You have reached your maximum number of articles. Log in or create an account FREE of charge to continue reading.

By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News’ Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive.

Please enter a valid email address.

Having trouble? Click here.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a bump stock does not transform a firearm into an automatic weapon, striking down a federal rule that banned bump stocks. 

In a 6-3 decision, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “Congress has long restricted access to “‘machinegun[s],'” a category of firearms defined by the ability to “shoot, automatically more than one shot . . . by a single function of the trigger.” 

“Semiautomatic firearms, which require shooters to reengage the trigger for every shot, are not machineguns. This case asks whether a bump stock—an accessory for a semi- automatic rifle that allows the shooter to rapidly reengage the trigger (and therefore achieve a high rate of fire)—con- verts the rifle into a ‘machinegun.’ We hold that it does not,” he wrote. 

The case, Garland v. Cargill, asked the court whether a “bump stock” device is a “machine gun” as defined by federal law because it is designed and intended for use in converting a rifle into a weapon that fires “automatically more than one shot … by a single function of the trigger.” 

TEXAS GUN STORE OWNER SAYS SUPREME COURT SHOULD LIMIT GOVERNMENT ‘POWER’ IN ‘BUMP STOCK’ BAN CASE

The high court’s majority found that that statutory definition of a “machinegun” is any weapon capable of firing “automatically more than one shot . . . by a single function of the trigger.” 

“We hold that a semiautomatic rifle equipped with a bump stock is not a ‘machinegun’ because it cannot fire more than one shot ‘by a single function of the trigger.’ And, even if it could, it would not do so ‘automatically,'” Thomas wrote. 

“ATF therefore exceeded its statutory authority by issuing a Rule that classifies bump stocks as machineguns,” he said. 

After a 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 60 people dead and 500 more wounded, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued an interpretive rule concluding that “bump stocks” are machine guns.

“This tragedy created tremendous political pressure to outlaw bump stocks nationwide. Within days, Members of Congress proposed bills to ban bump stocks and other devices ‘designed to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle,’” Thomas wrote in Thursday’s opinion.

The Trump administration initiated a ban on the devices — reversing earlier regulations — and President Biden’s Justice Department defended it in court. 

READ THE SUPREME COURT OPINION – APP USERS, CLICK HERE:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, dissented from the majority saying, “the Court puts bump stocks back in civilian hands. To do so, it casts aside Congress’s definition of “machinegun” and seizes upon one that is inconsistent with the ordinary meaning of the statutory text and unsupported by context or purpose.”

“When I see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck. A bump-stock-equipped semiautomatic rifle fires ‘automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. Because I, like Congress, call that a machinegun, I respectfully dissent,” she wrote. 

NYC SHOP OWNER WITH CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT FACES 7 YEARS FOR INADVERTENTLY SHOOTING WOULD-BE THIEF

supreme court exterior

A bump stock is an attachment that replaces a semi-automatic weapon’s standard stock, the part of the long weapon that rests on the shoulder.

Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works, sued the government after he was forced to surrender several “bump stocks” under the ATF’s rule. He says the agency overstepped its administrative authority to impose a ban, absent any congressional action.

“It really goes back to … freedom,” Cargill said in an interview with Fox News Digital. “And it goes back to just the basics of something that my customers and myself legally purchase. The government should not have that power, that authority in an administrative agency … to come back and ban that. You know, something that Congress has not banned. That’s going to be a job that’s reserved for Congress,” 

JAN 6 RIOTERS, ABORTION, GUN RIGHTS: A LOOK AHEAD AT LANDMARK CASES SCOTUS WILL HEAR IN 2024

Vince Warner fires an AK-47 with a bump stock installed at Good Guys Gun and Range

Bump stocks came into circulation early this century, as one of a number of devices that can be attached to semi-automatic weapons.

As the shooter applies forward thrust on the barrel, the device harnesses the recoil energy so that the trigger will “bump” against the stationary finger, which then allows another round to be fired. The effect is more rapid shots than with a standard stock.

The ATF says more than a half-million bump stocks were in circulation when the federal ban came into effect five years ago, requiring them to be turned in or destroyed. 

Read the full article from here

spot_img

Share post:

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Popular

More like this
Related