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Politics: Supreme Court Rules Bump Stock Ban Unlawful, Delivering Setback

POLITICS: Supreme Court Rules Bump Stock Ban Unlawful, Delivering Setback to Biden Administration * The Scoop

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In a blow to the Biden administration, the Supreme Court decided on Friday that a federal prohibition on bump stocks, devices that increase the firing rate of semiautomatic rifles, is unlawful. Despite the federal ban being overturned, bump stocks will not be widely available across the country.

President Joe Biden, in a statement, said he had employed “every tool in my administration to stamp out gun violence” and pledged to continue these efforts.

“We know thoughts and prayers are not enough,” Biden said. “I call on Congress to ban bump stocks, pass an assault weapon ban, and take additional action to save lives — send me a bill and I will sign it immediately.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., repeated Biden’s sentiments in his own statement, emphasizing that “the only way to permanently close this loophole is through legislation.” Gun control advocates condemned the ruling, expressing fears that some state-level bans could also be challenged.

“We’ve seen bump stocks cause immense destruction and violence,” said Esther Sanchez-Gomez, litigation director at Giffords Law Center. “The majority of justices today sided with the gun lobby instead of the safety of the American people. This is a shameful decision.”

Although Trump had implemented the ban, a spokesperson for his campaign showed no dismay at the decision, asserting that the ruling “should be respected” while highlighting his support for gun rights.

The National Rifle Association, a prominent gun rights organization, initially indicated it would support a ban, but later changed its stance. The group celebrated Friday’s ruling, stating on X that the court had “properly restrained executive branch agencies to their role of enforcing, and not making, the law.”

The Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision split along ideological lines, with conservative justices forming the majority, ruled that a nearly century-old law targeting machine guns could not be interpreted to include bump stocks.

The Trump administration had enacted the ban in response to the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, where Stephen Paddock used firearms equipped with bump stocks to attack a country music festival, initially killing 58 people. Then-President Donald Trump had personally called for the accessory to be banned.

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, asserted that a firearm equipped with a bump stock does not fit the definition of “machinegun” under federal law.

Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a strong dissent, stating, “When I see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck,” drawing a parallel to bump stocks making semiautomatic rifles function like machine guns. Sotomayor also took the uncommon step of reading a summary of her dissent in court.





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