Supreme Court will rule on ban on rapid-fire gun bump stocks, used in the Las Vegas mass shooting

bump stocks (Large)
The regulation under challenge stemmed from the Las Vegas shooting in which more than 1,000 rounds were fired in 11 minutes, killing 58 people.

The Supreme Court agreed on Friday to decide whether a Trump era-ban on bump stocks, the gun attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns, violates federal law.

The justices will hear arguments early next year over a regulation put in place by the Justice Department after a mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017.

Federal appeals courts have come to different decisions about whether the regulation defining a bump stock as a machine gun comports with federal law.

The Supreme Court already is weighing a challenge to another federal law that seeks to keep guns away from people under domestic violence restraining orders, a case that stems from the landmark decision in 2022 in which the six-justice conservative majority expanded gun rights.

The Trump administration’s ban on bump stocks was an about-face for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In 2010, under the Obama administration, the agency found that a bump stock should not be classified as a machine gun and therefore should not be banned under federal law.

Following the Las Vegas shooting, officials revisited that determination and found it incorrect.

Bump stocks harness the recoil energy of a semi-automatic firearm so that a trigger “resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter,” according to the ATF.

A shooter must maintain constant forward pressure on the weapon with the non-shooting hand and constant pressure on the trigger with the trigger finger, according to court records.

The full U.S. 5th Circuit ruled 13-3 in January that Congress would have to change federal law to ban bump stocks.

The ban on bump stocks took effect in 2019. It stemmed from the Las Vegas shooting in which the gunman, a 64-year-old retired postal service worker and high-stakes gambler, used assault-style rifles to fire more than 1,000 rounds in 11 minutes into a crowd of 22,000 music fans.

Most of the rifles were fitted with bump stock devices and high-capacity magazines. A total of 58 people were killed in the shooting, and two died later. Hundreds were injured.

The Trump administration’s ban on bump stocks was an about-face for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In 2010, under the Obama administration, the agency found that a bump stock should not be classified as a machine gun and therefore should not be banned under federal law.

Following the Las Vegas shooting, officials revisited that determination and found it incorrect.

Bump stocks harness the recoil energy of a semi-automatic firearm so that a trigger “resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter,” according to the ATF.

A shooter must maintain constant forward pressure on the weapon with the non-shooting hand and constant pressure on the trigger with the trigger finger, according to court records.

The full U.S. 5th Circuit ruled 13-3 in January that Congress would have to change federal law to ban bump stocks.

The Trump administration’s ban on bump stocks was an about-face for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In 2010, under the Obama administration, the agency found that a bump stock should not be classified as a machine gun and therefore should not be banned under federal law.

Following the Las Vegas shooting, officials revisited that determination and found it incorrect.

Bump stocks harness the recoil energy of a semi-automatic firearm so that a trigger “resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter,” according to the ATF.

A shooter must maintain constant forward pressure on the weapon with the non-shooting hand and constant pressure on the trigger with the trigger finger, according to court records.

The full U.S. 5th Circuit ruled 13-3 in January that Congress would have to change federal law to ban bump stocks.

“The definition of ‘machinegun’ as set forth in the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act does not apply to bump stocks,” Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod wrote for the 5th Circuit.

But a panel of three judges on the federal appeals court in Washington looked at the same language and came to a different conclusion.

Judge Robert Wilkins wrote for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that “under the best interpretation of the statute, a bump stock is a self-regulating mechanism that allows a shooter to shoot more than one shot through a single pull of the trigger. As such, it is a machine gun under the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act.”

A decision is expected by early summer in Garland v. Cargill, 22-976.

____

Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


4 comments

  • Michael K

    November 5, 2023 at 9:51 am

    Apparently, it’s a God-given American right to commit mass murder by weapons of war – as the price we pay to the almighty NRA for the freedom to die by gunshot.

  • Rick Whitaker

    November 5, 2023 at 12:33 pm

    gun lovers are pricks

  • My Take

    November 5, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    I had wondeŕed what happened to “goìng postal?”
    I wondered if the employees were on routine tranquilizers now.
    Could still be, this guy was retiŕed.
    The Air Force should bomb his neighborhood, right?

  • My Take

    November 5, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    I had wondeŕed what happened to “goìng postal?”
    I wondered if the employees were on routine tranquilizers now.
    Could still be, this guy was retiŕed.
    The Air Force should bomb his neighborhood, right?

Comments are closed.


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