SCOTUS Justice’s Laughable Comment on Guns

( – The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a challenge to a federal ban on bump stocks enacted in 2018 by the Trump administration following the mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival in 2017, CBS News reported.

The case, Garland v. Cargill, questions whether the ATF regulation that bans bump stocks was permitted under the federal law outlawing machine guns.

During oral arguments, some of the justices appeared to agree that the 1934 law regulating the sale of machine guns could apply to bump stocks. However, some of the conservative justices expressed concern that the ATF’s policy regarding bump stocks leaves law-abiding gun owners subject to criminal penalties.

The ATF determined in 2018 that a bump stock would qualify as a machine gun under the 1934 law. The rule was challenged by Texas gun owner Michael Cargill who argued that the ATF’s determination was invalid.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Cargill last year.

Throughout the 90-minute hearing, the justices spent much of the time focusing on the mechanics of a bump stock-equipped semi-automatic rifle and how a shooter would fire the weapon with the bump stock attached.

In their questions, the court’s three liberal justices — Elana Kagan, Ketanji Brown Jackson, and Sonia Sotomayor – assumed that the addition of a bump stock would allow a semi-automatic rifle to fire exactly like a machine gun.

Justice Jackson incorrectly suggested that with a bump stock attached, a semi-automatic rifle could fire 800 rounds in a second.

Justice Kagan asserted that the “entire point” of adding a bump stock was to allow the semi-automatic rifle to function in the same way as a machine gun, firing “a torrent of bullets.”

Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch kept the focus of his questions on whether the ATF had the statutory authority to impose the bump stock ban or if such a ban should come from Congress. Gorsuch noted that even Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, who was a fierce proponent of gun bans, questioned how the ATF could impose a ban on bump stocks without Congress enacting legislation to do so.

Even if the Supreme Court does rule that the ATF exceeded its authority in imposing the bump stock ban, the device would not be legal nationwide as 18 states have already enacted laws banning bump stocks.

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