Supreme Court to Decide Legality of Trump’s Bump Stock Ban and Gun Accessories Authentication

Las Vegas, Nevada – After a tragic massacre at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas left 58 people dead and hundreds injured, the Trump administration took steps to ban bump stocks, the device used by the gunman in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. This move sparked a legal battle that will be considered by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, with potential implications for federal restrictions on modifying semiautomatic rifles.

The bump stock ban represents a significant effort by the government to address the growing frequency of mass shootings in recent years. While Congress and some courts have been hesitant to enact restrictions on firearms, the federal government began reevaluating regulations on bump stocks after the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, reigniting the debate following the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Michael Cargill, a U.S. Army veteran and gun store owner in Austin, challenged the Trump-era rules after being forced to surrender his bump stocks. He argued that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives overstepped its authority by reinterpreting long-standing federal limits on machine guns to include the devices.

The case, one of two before the Supreme Court related to gun restrictions, highlights the ongoing debate over federal agency power and gun rights. Represented by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, Cargill’s lawsuit raises questions about the government’s interpretation of machine guns and the definition of a bump stock’s functionality.

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority’s recent landmark decision expanding gun rights adds complexity to the case, as it requires historical analogues to justify laws limiting Second Amendment rights. This ruling is at issue in another gun case before the court this term, examining the legality of a law prohibiting gun ownership by individuals with domestic violence protective orders.

The current case before the court does not directly involve the Second Amendment but rather questions the ATF’s interpretation of a statute prohibiting nonmilitary access to machine guns since 1986. The debate is likely to focus on how bump stocks operate and whether their use aligns with the statutory definition of a machine gun.

As the legal battle unfolds, experts and advocates on both sides are closely watching the implications of the Supreme Court’s decision on bump stocks. The outcome could have far-reaching consequences for gun control measures and federal agency authority, shaping the landscape of firearm regulation in the United States.