Gun Rifle

Supreme Court Rules “Bump Stock” Ban Illegal

(The Daily Signal)—In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court has found that the federal government cannot use a decades-old ban on machine guns to ban bump stocks.

The case involved whether a bump stock device is a “machine gun” as defined in U.S. law. Bump stocks convert rifles into machine guns, defined as a weapon that fires “automatically more than one shot … by a single function of the trigger.”

For more than a decade, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) maintained that bump stocks were not machine guns as defined, and issued interpretation letters confirming that position.

The 1986 Firearm Owners’ Protection Act prohibited the ownership of machine guns.

But on Oct. 1, 2017, a shooter used a bump stock to kill 60 people at a Las Vegas concert, spurring public demand for a ban on bump stocks.

The ATF reclassified bump stocks as machine guns in 2018, exposing owners to criminal liability.

A Texas man, Michael Cargill, surrendered his bump stocks, but filed a lawsuit challenging the ATF regulations. Cargill argued that the ATF exceeded its authority in defining bump stocks as machine guns.