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Bump Stocks Ban Case

The US Supreme Court today will hear arguments on the fate of bump stocks, a modification that allows semi-automatic rifles to fire continuously with one pull of the trigger.

In Garland v. Cargill (view here, 10 am ET), a gunshop owner is challenging a 2018 ban on bump stocks, arguing they don’t enable rifles to shoot multiple rounds “automatically” and “by a single function of the trigger” as per the government’s definition of machine guns, which are banned. The owner points to the ongoing physical pressure required on a barrel when using a bump stock, arguing the process is neither automatic nor a “single function of the trigger.” The government disagrees, pointing to a bump stock’s reliance on a gun’s recoil to trigger additional shots per a single press of the trigger. 

In 2018, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives banned the accessory following its use in a deadly 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting. The ATF ordered over 700,000 bump stocks in circulation to be surrendered or destroyed, saying they violate a 1986 law that makes it illegal to own or produce new machine guns.

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