By: José Niño
Mark Sherman of the Associated Press reported recently that the Supreme Court threw out an appeal of the federal prohibition on bump stocks accessories.
Critics argue that these devices allow semi-automatic firearms to fire rapidly like machine guns, however, industry experts see bump stocks as a novelty item that make firearms highly inaccurate.
The justices did not make any comments about their refusal to review a ruling from a lower court that upheld the ban, which went into effect nearly a year ago.
After the Las Vegas massacre of 2017, where a gunman killed 58 people and left hundreds of others wounded, President Donald Trump said the government would proceed to implement a bump stock ban. The murderer attached bump stocks to the rifles he used to mow down concert participants from his hotel room.
The Trump administration’s decision to ban bump stocks ran counter to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) policy during the Obama administration. In 2010, the ATF, under the Obama administration’s watch, declared that bump stock devices were legal. The game changed, however, once Trump came into office. ATF officials reviewed that decision and determined that it was incorrect. The new regulation, which came into effect in late 2018, required gun owners to destroy their bump stocks or surrender them. According to government estimates, hundreds of thousands of bump stocks had been sold.
Many gun rights advocates believed that this measure represented a form of administrative overreach that could set dangerous precedents for future administration to exploit. The rule change was then met with several lawsuits from gun owners, which included high profile figures like Central Texas Gun Works owner Michael Cargill.
Sadly, any hope of change was dashed when the Supreme Court turned away the bump stock ban appeal.
In light of this development, gun owners should probably entertain other options, such as pressuring their state legislatures to pass laws that nullify the enforcement of unconstitutional gun grabs. When it’s apparent that the federal government is derelict in its duties to uphold our constitutional rights, pressure will have to come from elsewhere.
José Niño is a Venezuelan-American political activist writing from Fort Collins, Colorado. Contact him at [email protected].