Supreme Court Rules “Bump Stock” Ban Illegal

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The US Supreme Court on Friday issued a ruling calling the ban on bump stock attachments for firearms unconstitutional.

“ATF exceeded its statutory authority by issuing a Rule that classifies a bump stock as a ‘machine gun’ under §5845(b),” the court wrote in a 6-3 decision.

The court debated the definition of the term “machine gun,” which is defined as “any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger,” ultimately concluding bump stocks don’t turn rifles into machine guns.

“No one disputes that a semiautomatic rifle without a bump stock is not a machine gun because a shooter must release and reset the trigger between every shot. And, any subsequent shot fired after the trigger has been released and reset is the result of a separate and distinct ‘function of the trigger,’” the court wrote.

“Nothing changes when a semiautomatic rifle is equipped with a bump stock. Between every shot, the shooter must release pressure from the trigger and allow it to reset before reengaging the trigger for another shot. A bump stock merely reduces the amount of time that elapses between separate ‘functions’ of the trigger.” 

The decision was the culmination of a years-long dispute in Garland v Cargill, where the ban on bump stocks imposed by the Trump administration in 2018 shortly after the Las Vegas massacre was challenged by Texas gun shop owner Michael Cargill.

Cargill, who initially surrendered his bump stocks but then launched a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the ban, took a victory lap on X Friday.

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