The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed two challenges to a federal regulation that bans bump stocks, semiautomatic weapons accessories that allow multiple bullets to be fired at once, as opposed to one.
The cases in question — Garland v.And Gun Owners of America v. Garland — involved plaintiffs who had sued the federal government over changesThe Department of Justice (DOJ), had amended the definition of machine guns. These guns are prohibited from common use and ownership in America. save for very limited circumstances. In these cases, the plaintiffs filed lawsuits claiming that DOJ had no authority to redefine machine guns, and therefore regulation change was illegal.
Appellate courts found that the alteration was not improper, however, and upheld the DOJ’s changes. The Supreme Court ruled Monday. refused to hear the challenges to those rulingsThis means that less than four justices believed each case was worth hearing.
The Court didn’t elaborate on the reasons it rejected the cases.
Neither of the cases asserted that plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights to own weapons had been violated, meaning that a challenge on those grounds could come about in the future.
However, bump stocks will be legal in the U.S. for the time being. up to 10 years in prison for owning a bump stockYou could be fined up $250,000.
Gun reform advocates have celebrated the rejection of the cases as a victory. It’s an unusual action for the far right Supreme Court, which late in its last term loosened gun laws in New York and several other states, ruling that laws requiring individuals to demonstrate a need to carry a weapon in public before getting a concealed carry weapon were unconstitutional.
The DOJ changes — which altered definitions within laws regulating how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) operates — were implemented following a 2017 mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas, NevadaIn which a gunman opened fire from the top of his hotel room, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more. Trump, who was then President, demanded that the agency declare bump stocks illegal despite his generally antiregulatory views on guns.
In December 2018, the DOJ published its final rule. writing:
The term ‘machine gun’ includes bump-stock devices, i.e., devices that allow a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semi-automatic firearm to which it is affixed so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.
In 2019, the policy was in effect.
Polls after the Las Vegas shooting revealed broad support for a ban of bump stock, but policy experts disagree. were unsure that such a ban would lessen gun deaths, especially in mass shootings, as the majority of mass shootings both before and after the Las Vegas massacre didn’t involve bump stocks. The number of mass killings this year is projected to increase by nearly the same levels as in 2017.