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SCOTUS Overturns Bump Stock Ban in Major Blow to Gun Control Efforts

HeadlineJun 17, 2024

In a 6-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a ban on bump stocks — accessories that turn semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15 into fully automatic machine guns. The Trump administration issued the ban in 2018 after a gunman opened fire at a concert in Las Vegas, killing 58 people in one of the country’s deadliest mass shootings ever.

In the majority opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, “We hold that a semiautomatic rifle equipped with a bump stock is not a 'machine gun' because it cannot fire more than one shot 'by a single function of the trigger.'”

The court’s three liberal judges dissented. Justice Sonia Sotomayor summarized her dissent from the bench, saying, “The majority puts machine guns back in civilian hands. 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.”

Survivors of the 2017 Las Vegas massacre decried the Supreme Court’s decision.

Marisa Marano: “We’re not going to let our children continue to die. You know, that’s my biggest push, is that as an adult, I am stuck with this trauma and this fear for the rest of my life. My children should not have to live this way. You know, we don’t have to live this way, and we don’t have to die this way.”

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