The Supreme Court has overturned a Trump-era ban on the use of bump stocks for rapid-fire rifles, resuming the political fight

WASHINGTON – Supreme Court on Friday, it rescinded the Trump-era ban raise sharesaccessories for rapid fire weapons used in deadliest mass shooting in state-of-the-art U.S. history, in a ruling that brought the issue of firearms back to national political attention.

Supreme Court conservative majority said the Trump administration overreached by changing course from its predecessors and banning bump stocks that allow a rate of fire comparable to machine guns. The decision was made after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival using assault rifles equipped with accessories.

The gunman fired more than 1,000 shots into the crowd in 11 minutes, causing thousands of people to flee in terror, hundreds of people injured and dozens killed.

The ruling pushed guns back into the center of the political discussion with a remarkable twist, as Democrats condemned the GOP administration’s reversal of actions and many Republicans supported the ruling.

The 6-3 majority opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas found that the Justice Department was wrong to conclude that stockpiles transform semi-automatic rifles into illegal machine guns because, he wrote, each trigger of a depression in quick succession produces a discharge only one shot.

The ruling reinforced limits on the reach of executive power, with the two justices – conservative Samuel Alito and liberal Sonia Sotomayor – separately highlighting how action in Congress could potentially provide more lasting policy if there was the political will to act in a bipartisan manner.

Originally imposing the ban through regulation rather than legislation during Donald Trump’s presidency eased the burden on Republicans to take action in the wake of the massacre and another mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The prospects for passing gun restrictions in the current divided Congress are dim.

President Joe Biden, who supports gun restrictions, has called on Congress to reinstate a ban imposed by his political foe. Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign team expressed respect for the ruling, then quickly sought its support from the National Rifle Association.

While running for president again, Trump courted gun owners and appeared to downplay his administration’s actions on stocks, telling NRA members in February that “nothing has happened” on guns during his presidency despite “a lot of pressure.” He told the group that if re-elected, “nobody will lay a finger on your firearms.”

The 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting was committed by a high-stakes gambler who committed suicide, leaving his exact motive a mystery. A total of 60 people died in the shooting, including Christiana Duarte, whose family called Friday’s ruling tragic.

“This ruling is really just another way to invite people into another mass shooting,” said Danette Meyers, a family friend and spokeswoman. “It’s unfortunate that they have to go through this again. They are really unhappy.”

The ruling came after the same ruling by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority a landmark decision expanding gun rights in 2022. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks in another gun case, challenging federal law aimed at keeping guns away from minors orders to refrain from domestic violence.

The arguments in the case, however, focused on whether the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, an agency of the Justice Department, overstepped its authority rather than on the Second Amendment regarding firearms.

The plaintiff, Texas gun store owner and military veteran Michael Cargill, praised the ruling in a video posted online, predicting the case would have further fallout by hampering other ATF gun restrictions. “I’m glad I got up and fought,” he said.

Justices on the court’s liberal wing suggested during oral arguments that it was “common sense” to say that anything capable of unleashing a “torrent of bullets” was a machine gun under federal law. But conservative judges raised questions about the effects of the ATF’s change of heart a decade after the paraphernalia was deemed legal.

The Supreme Court took up the case after a split between lower courts raise shares, which were invented at the beginning of the 21st century. Under Republican President George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama, the ATF decided that stockpiles did not convert semi-automatic weapons into machine guns. The agency overturned these decisions at Trump’s urging. This came after the Las Vegas massacre and the Parkland, Florida shooting that left 17 people dead.

Stocks are accessories that replace the stock of the rifle, i.e. the part that rests on the shoulder. They use the energy of the weapon’s recoil in such a way that the trigger hits the shooter’s stationary finger, enabling a shot to be fired at a similar speed as with an automatic weapon. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have their own stockpile bans that are not expected to be affected by the ruling, although bans in four states may no longer apply following the ruling, according to a gun control group. Everywhere.

Cargill was represented by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, a group funded by conservative donors like the Koch network. His lawyers acknowledged that stocks allow for rapid fire, but argued that they differ in that the shooter must exert greater effort to keep the weapon firing.

The Biden administration has argued that the ATF reached the correct conclusion on excess stockpiles after conducting a more detailed investigation prompted by the Las Vegas shooting.

When the ban went into effect in 2019, there were approximately 520,000 supplies in circulation, requiring people to surrender or destroy them, resulting in a total loss estimated at $100 million, plaintiffs say in court documents.

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