By
Savannah Hulsey Pointer
|
November 18, 2022
|
11:45 pm

Supreme Court rejects challenge to federal 'bump stock' ban

An appeal against a federal prohibition on so-called "bump stocks" enacted under former President Donald Trump was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court, according to a report by The Conservative Brief

"The justices declined to review an appeal by a group of firearms dealers and individuals in Minnesota, Texas, and Kentucky after a lower court rejected their argument that the government had violated the U.S. Constitution's Fifth Amendment takings clause by effectively taking their private property without just compensation," Reuters reported.

"Trump's administration moved to reclassify bump stocks as machine guns, which are forbidden under U.S. law, in a rare firearms control measure prompted by a 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. The Supreme Court in 2019 declined to block the ban from going into effect.

"The justices last month rejected appeals by a Utah gun lobbyist and firearms rights groups of lower court rulings upholding the ban as a reasonable interpretation of a federal law prohibiting machine gun possession," the outlet added.

"Bump stocks use a gun's recoil to bump its trigger, enabling a semiautomatic weapon to fire hundreds of rounds per minute to let it shoot like a machine gun.

"Trump pledged to ban them after a gunman used semiautomatic weapons outfitted with bump stocks in a shooting spree that killed 58 people at a country music festival in Las Vegas. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), a U.S. Justice Department agency, reversed a previous conclusion and classified bump stocks as machine guns under a 1934 U.S. law called the National Firearms Act. The policy took effect in 2019," the outlet added.

The Supreme Court dismissed a complaint by gun rights organizations last month that sought to overturn the ban on bump stocks.

"The decision not to hear the two related cases, a blow for gun rights activists, leaves the ban in place. The conservative-majority court issued a major ruling in June that expanded gun rights, although the legal issues in the bump stock cases were different," NBC News reported.

"The ban, implemented by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, went into effect in 2019 after the Supreme Court declined to block it. Since then, the already conservative court has tilted further to the right, with conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a Trump appointee, replacing liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in 2020," the outlet added.

NBC News went on to report:

The bump stocks challenge, however, did not deal directly with the scope of the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. The challengers instead said the government did not have authority to ban bump stocks under the National Firearms Act, a law enacted in 1934 to regulate machine guns. In 1968, the Gun Control Act expanded the definition of machine gun to include accessories “for use in converting a weapon” into a machine gun, and the ATF concluded when it issued the ban that bump stocks meet that definition.

The groups challenging the ban said the legal definition of machine gun has been distorted beyond recognition and argue that courts should not defer to the federal agency’s interpretation.

The court turned away two related appeals, one brought by Clark Aposhian, a Utah gun lobbyist who had purchased a bump stock before the ban took effect, and another led by Gun Owners of America and other gun rights groups. Lower courts upheld the ban, although judges on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals were divided in both cases.

Written By:
Savannah Hulsey Pointer

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