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Trump campaign says Supreme Court’s decision striking down his admin’s bump stock rule ‘should be respected’

Former President Donald Trump’s campaign responded to the Supreme Court’s Thursday ruling that invalidated a Trump-era ban on firearm accessories known as “bump stocks.”

“The Supreme Court has ruled and its decision should be respected,” Caroline Leavitt, national spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, said in a statement.

“President Trump has been and will continue to be a fierce defender of the Second Amendment rights of the American people and I am proud to have the endorsement of the NRA. With our borders open to terrorists and criminals and immigrant crime on the rise, the right to keep and bear arms is more important than ever and Joe Biden is trying to take that right away from law-abiding Americans. President Trump will not allow that to happen,” Leavitt said.

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court majority said bump stocks do not transform a firearm into a machine gun, and that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “exceeded its statutory authority by issuing regulations classifying bump stocks as machine guns.”

Supreme Court strikes down federal ban on bump stocks

Former President Donald Trump held a rally on May 23, 2024, in New York City’s historically Democratic South Bronx neighborhood. (Spencer Pratt/Getty Images)

A bump stock is an attachment that replaces the standard stock (the long part of the weapon that rests on your shoulder) on a semi-automatic rifle.

As the shooter pushes the barrel forward, the device uses recoil energy to “slam” the trigger onto a stationary finger, allowing the next bullet to be fired, resulting in faster firing than with a standard stock.

The high court majority ruled that the statutory definition of a “machine gun” is a weapon “capable of automatically firing multiple shots with a single pull of the trigger.”

“Congress has long restricted access to machine guns.[s]Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the majority opinion that it is a category of firearm defined by its ability “to automatically fire multiple rounds with the simple pull of the trigger.”

Texas gun store owner argues Supreme Court should limit government ‘power’ in ‘bump stock’ ban case

Bump stocks and handguns recovered during a buyback event in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, on Saturday, March 4, 2023.

Bump stocks and handguns recovered during a buyback event in the Wilmington neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, on Saturday, March 4, 2023. (Jill Connelly/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“A semi-automatic rifle because the shooter must pull the trigger every time is not a machine gun. This case asks whether a bump stock, an attachment to a semi-automatic rifle that allows the shooter to pull the trigger more quickly (and thus achieve a higher rate of fire), turns the rifle into a ‘machine gun.’ We hold that it doesn’t,” he said.

In the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting that left 60 people dead and more than 500 injured, the U.S. Attorney’s Office Alcohol, tobacco, firearms, explosives (ATF) issued an interpretive rule concluding that a “bump stock” is a machine gun.

“This tragedy created enormous political pressure to ban bump stocks nationwide, and within days, members of Congress introduced bills to ban bump stocks and other devices ‘designed to increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic rifles,'” Justice Thomas wrote in his opinion Thursday.

The Trump administration began banning the devices, reversing earlier regulations, and President Biden’s Justice Department has defended it in court.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, dissented for the majority, saying, “The Court has put bump stocks back in civilian hands. In doing so, the Court has ignored Congress’ definition of ‘machine gun,’ seized on a definition that is inconsistent with the ordinary meaning of the statutory text and unsupported by context or purpose.”

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Trump at an NRA event

Former President Donald Trump spoke at a National Rifle Association (NRA) event. (National Rifle Association)

“If I see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck. A semi-automatic rifle equipped with a bump stock automatically fires multiple shots with a single pull of the trigger, without the need for manual reloading. I call it a machine gun, as does Congress, and I respectfully disagree,” Sotomayor wrote.

Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works, filed a lawsuit against the government after ATF regulations forced him to return several “bump stocks,” arguing that the ATF was overstepping its executive authority by imposing the ban in the absence of congressional action.

“More than five years ago, I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, even if I was the only plaintiff in this lawsuit, and that’s exactly what I did,” Cargill, an Army veteran, said Friday.

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Speaking at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Texas last month, Trump thanked “great patriots” for their support but scolded the “rebellious masses” who did not vote.

“But I want to say as a friend that we To get gun owners “I don’t know why you don’t have the right to vote. Maybe it’s a form of rebellion because you’re a rebellious people,” Trump said, “but gun owners don’t vote. What does that mean?”

“If gun owners vote, we will crush them like no one has ever seen them before,” he said. “So I think you’re a rebellious bunch, so now let’s rebel and vote.”

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