Supreme Court Delivers Another Blow to Gun Rights

( – The United States Supreme Court has refused to hear a gun rights case in which Second Amendment activists hoped to do away with a ban on bump stocks issued in 2018 by the US Justice Department.

The lawsuit, Gun Owners of America v. Garland, had President Joe Biden’s Attorney General as its top defendant after previously targeting former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who served under President Donald Trump, Fox News reported.

The DOJ adopted the ban after a man killed 60 people and wounded hundreds in 2017 at a Las Vegas concert using rifles with bump stocks, attachments to semi-automatic rifles allowing the firing of several shots with a single trigger squeeze.

“We are faithfully following President Trump’s leadership by making clear that bump stocks, which turn semi-automatics into machine guns, are illegal, and we will continue to take illegal guns off of our streets,” Acting Attorney General Whitaker declared at the time.

In 2019, a federal district court ruled in favor of the Justice Department. Still, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the ruling last year, arguing that federal agencies have no authority on policy issues such as banning gun accessories.

The latter ruling came from a three-judge panel later overruled by the entire Sixth Circuit in another decision in favor of the federal government.

Earlier this year, Gun Owners of America resorted to asking the Supreme Court to rule on the issue, insisting that the government’s ban is “disconnected from reality.”

“The question is whether common firearm accessories called ‘bump stocks’ constitute ‘machineguns’ under the statutory definition… and thus are banned from private possession,” Gun Owners of America said in a statement.

“The answer to that question is a definitive ‘no.’ A firearm equipped with a bump stock does not meet either prong of Congress’s carefully-crafted and unambiguous definition of ‘machinegun,’” it added.

Meanwhile, Biden’s Justice Department also issued a release, arguing the opposite.

“ATF’s interpretation of the phrase ‘single function of the trigger’ reflects the common-sense understanding of how most weapons are fired: by the shooter’s pull on a curved metal trigger,” the Justice Department said.

“[O]n a machinegun — including a weapon equipped with a bump stock — that same single pull of the trigger initiates a continuous process that fires bullets until the ammunition is exhausted,” it declared further.

In 2010, under the Obama administration, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives concluded bump stocks could not be classified as a “machine gun” and could not be forbidden under federal law.

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