Supreme Court refuses to block bump stock ban

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to temporarily block the Trump administration's ban on "bump stock" gun attachments from being enforced.

In a brief order, the Supreme Court said the request for a stay that was first submitted to Justice Sonia Sotomayor and then referred to the full court had been denied. There was no further explanation provided and no dissents filed.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) issued a final rule in December reclassifying bump stock devices as machine guns and banning their private possession. The rule gave owners 90 days to turn in or destroy the device, which allows semi-automatic weapons to fire much more rapidly.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gun Owners of America Inc., the Gun Owners Foundation, Virginia Citizens Defense League and three gun owners had asked the court to block the ban before it took effect on Tuesday after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals denied their emergency request for a stay.  

They argue the rule reverses well over a decade of consistent ATF classification of bump stocks as unregulated firearm accessories, transforming them into unregistered machine guns that are unlawful to own.  

They claim the federal definition of a machine gun can't be applied to bump stocks and that while ATF has rewritten the definition to include devices that fire multiple rounds of ammunition with the "single pull of a trigger," that's not how bump stocks operate.

“The Final Rule is the very embodiment of a violation of the separation of powers — Congressional authority being wielded by an administrative agency,” they said in court filings.

“What’s more, this case does not involve a run-of-the-mill regulatory provision. Rather, the agency has created a new crime — felony ownership of a bump stock — out of whole cloth."

The bump stock ban is President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE’s first and only action in response to the rash of mass shootings that have occurred since he took office.

He called for the ban days after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla. While there are no reports that a bump stock was used in that attack, police said one was used when 58 people were killed and 500 wounded in a mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas in October 2017.