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Federal Bump Stock Ban Ruled Unlawful By U.S. Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that the federal bump stock ban is unlawful, arguing that the definition of a machine gun under the National Firearms Act does not include bump stocks. This decision leaves bump stock regulations to individual states, with 15 already having bans in place.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (6-minute read) — In a significant ruling for gun rights, the Supreme Court has deemed the federal ban on bump stocks unlawful. The 6-3 decision, largely along ideological lines, saw the court’s conservative majority conclude that the National Firearms Act of 1934 does not encompass bump stocks within its definition of a machine gun.

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, clarified that firearms equipped with bump stocks do not meet the federal law’s criteria for a machine gun. This decision overturns the prohibition imposed during the Trump administration following the tragic Las Vegas shooting in 2017, where bump stocks were used to devastating effect.

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 full ruling can be viewed below.

Bump Stock Bans on the State Level

Despite the federal bump stock ban being overturned by the Supreme Court, bump stocks will not become universally available. 15 states have already implemented their own bans on these devices. Moreover, Congress retains the authority to legislate on this matter.

The Trump administration’s bump stock ban was a response to the Las Vegas mass shooting, where the gunman used bump stocks to fire upon a crowd, killing 58 people.

Michael Cargill, a Texas-based gun owner, initiated the lawsuit. Cargill, who surrendered his bump stocks following the ban, argued that the accessories do not convert semi-automatic firearms into machine guns. His legal team highlighted that bump stocks require the trigger to be engaged for each shot, thus not fitting the machine gun classification.

This ruling adds to a series of decisions where the court has backed gun rights, including a notable 2022 ruling affirming the right to carry handguns outside the home.

Safety Tip: Always stay informed about local and federal firearm regulations to ensure compliance and promote responsible gun ownership.

Read the full article here

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