Home newsNRI Latest News Supreme Court Strikes Down Trump-Era Ban on Bump Stocks

Supreme Court Strikes Down Trump-Era Ban on Bump Stocks

by Mohammad Naseemaa
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Supreme Court bump stock ban, Trump-era firearm regulations, Las Vegas shooting impact, gun accessory legality, Second Amendment debate, Biden administration stance, federal firearm laws, gun rights rulings, ATF classification, firearm safety concerns, Texas gun shop challenge, conservative legal challenges, rapid-fire devices, semi-automatic weapons modification, legal precedent on firearms

Supreme Court has overturned a ban on bump stocks imposed by the Trump administration. Bump stocks are accessories that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly, similar to machine guns. The decision, with a 6-3 majority, found that the Justice Department did not follow federal law when it banned bump stocks in response to the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, where a gunman used these devices to shoot over 1,000 rounds in just 11 minutes, resulting in 60 deaths and many injuries.

The challenge came from a Texas gun shop owner who argued that bump stocks were incorrectly classified as illegal machine guns. The Biden administration supported the ban, citing concerns that bump stocks can enable firearms to fire hundreds of rounds per minute, posing serious safety risks.

This case is the latest in a series of gun-related issues heard by the Supreme Court, which has a conservative majority that has previously expanded gun rights. The court is currently considering another case challenging a federal law aimed at limiting access to firearms for people under domestic violence restraining orders.

During arguments, liberal justices argued that any device capable of firing a rapid barrage of bullets should be considered a machine gun under federal law. Conservative justices questioned why Congress had not passed laws specifically addressing bump stocks and scrutinized the ATF’s reversal of its previous decisions under different administrations.

Bump stocks, invented in the early 2000s, modify a rifle’s stock to harness recoil energy, allowing rapid firing as the trigger repeatedly bumps against the shooter’s stationary finger. Although fifteen states and Washington D.C. have enacted their own bans on bump stocks, the federal ban imposed in 2019 under President Trump required the surrender or destruction of approximately 520,000 existing bump stocks, resulting in an estimated loss of $100 million.

The plaintiff, Michael Cargill, argued that while bump stocks enable rapid fire, they differ from traditional machine guns because the shooter must actively maintain pressure on the trigger. Government lawyers countered that the minimal effort required did not justify a legal distinction. The Justice Department defended the ATF’s reevaluation of bump stocks following thorough scrutiny prompted by mass shootings in Las Vegas and Parkland, Florida.

 

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