U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court Hears Bump Stock Regulation Oral Arguments

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard oral arguments over the bump stock regulation that was implemented in 2018 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms after the Las Vegas shooting in 2017 that left 60 people dead.

In the aftermath of the shooting, President Donald Trump said he supported the ATF the devices. Initially, the National Rifle Association supported the bump stock regulatory move but has since supported overturning the ATF’s rule on them. Gun Owners of America argued at the time and today that the regulation was unconstitutional.

The ATF argued that the devices turned firearms into machine guns and should fall under the “1968 Gun Control Act.”

Michael Cargill from Austin, Texas is the individual who has appealed to the Supreme Court over the ban. Cargill is a licensed dealer and owned two bump stocks at the time the ban went into effect.

The 5th and 6th Circuit Court of Appeals have both said the ATF’s rule was unconstitutional, while the District of Columbia Court of Appeals upheld the change.

During oral arguments, much of the discussion centered around what defines a “machine gun.”

Those seeking the appeal argued that the trigger mechanism is unchanged by the bump stock. This means the function of the trigger still has to reset each time the weapon fires. A machine gun does not require the reset to take place.

According to the National Firearms Act, a machine gun is defined as,

“Any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.”


Proponents of classifying bump stocks as machine guns say that the definition of a machine gun does not specify a reference to the trigger mechanism needing to reset or not.

If the bump stock regulation is overturned, it will not be legal in all states. Currently, 15 states have banned them.

One reply on “Supreme Court Hears Bump Stock Regulation Oral Arguments”

Whatever anyone thinks about bump stocks….the main issue here is that you cannot criminalize a firearm due to any of its features. The 2A never defined what kind of “arms” citizens could possess. In those days, citizens owned everything from bladed weapons and up through every kind of firearm, including fully armed warships with cannons. Privateers served as our navy before we had a real navy. Nothing has changed other than we have allowed corrupt politicians to steal away our rights to possess arms once previously held by citizens.

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