Supreme Court lifts Trump's ban on bump stocks

After a gunman killed 58 people in Las Vegas and hurt hundreds more using a bump stock to automate his rifle fire into the crowd, then-president Donald Trump banned the devices. The U.S. Supreme Court today lifted that ban, with Justice Clarence Thomas (R—Harlan Crow) saying that firearms with bump stocks do not meet the Federal definition of a machine gun irrespective of their rate of fire.

The 6-3 vote fell on ideological lines, with Justice Sonia Sotomayor voicing her dissent: "When I see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck." In his concurrence with the majority, Justice Samuel Alito conceded that in "practical terms" a weapon equipped with a bump stock is a machine gun but that it was down to Congress to ban them.

The ruling does not lift state bans on bump stocks; eighteen states have done so. The NRA briefly supported the federal ban, sensing public fury at the massacre, but returned to opposing it when no serious political support for gun reform emerged.

Phoenix7777 (CC BY-SA 4.0)