Even Sen. Feinstein Knows the Trump Bump Stock Ban is on Thin Legal Ice
courtesy Denver Post and AP

This week’s news from the Supreme Court isn’t as promising as it’s been lately.

From the Associated Press . . .

The Supreme Court is declining to take up a challenge to Maryland’s ban on bump stocks and other devices that make guns fire faster.

The high court on Monday turned away a challenge to the ban, which took effect in October 2018. A lower court had dismissed the challenge at an early stage and that decision had been upheld by an appeals court. As is typical, the court didn’t comment in declining to take the case.

Maryland’s ban preceded a nationwide ban on the sale and possession of bump stocks that was put in place by the Trump administration and took effect in 2019. The Supreme Court previously declined to stop the Trump administration from enforcing that ban. Both Maryland’s ban and the nationwide one followed a 2017 shooting in Las Vegas in which a gunman attached bump stocks to assault-style rifles he used to shoot concertgoers from his hotel room. Fifty-eight people were killed and hundreds were injured.

Does this mean you should give up hope?

Remember that a Sixth Circuit Panel ruled in March that “A bump stock may change how the pull of the trigger is accomplished, but it does not change the fact that the semiautomatic firearm shoots only one shot for each pull of the trigger.”

The court said, “With or without a bump stock, a semiautomatic firearm is capable of firing only a single shot for each pull of the trigger and is unable to fire again until the trigger is released and the hammer of the firearm is reset.”

In other words, the court ruled that a bump stock isn’t a machine gun just because the ATF arbitrarily says it is.

Based on that, the Sixth Circuit panel overruled a lower court’s denial of an injunction preventing the ATF from enforcing a ban on bump stocks.

Stay tuned. The Ohio case still a ways to go.

26 COMMENTS

  1. There is always the off-chance that the U.S. Supreme Court declined this case because they are going to issue a significant, sweeping landmark ruling in the upcoming may-issue-concealed-carry case in September–a ruling so broad and sweeping that it clearly forbids all levels of government from making any rules/laws which infringe on our right to keep and bear arms. Such a ruling would say something to the effect of, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    Oh, who am I kidding?!?!?!?

    • Yep, that’s why, that is definitely the case! They’re already planning to un-ban bump stocks, so taking up this case would be superfluous!

      I don’t know that the conservative justices have a road map or plan for gun rights, I don’t think they are necessarily plotting “ok, we skip this case, but then take that one, yes, with that perfect case, we can protect the second amendment and roll out a common interpretation across the land!” As much as we all have an expansive wish list I think they have a much more narrow view.

      • That SCOTUS did not grant cert on this should surprise no one, nor is it any indication that anything is amiss.

        The best argument against the FEDERAL bump stock ban is that it is by a regulation that is inconsistent with the statutory definition of “machine gun.” That argument doesn’t apply to the MD state ban.

        The 2A argument here would be essentially the same as attacking state bans on Class III-legal suppressors and MG’s on 2A grounds. I’m not unsympathetic to the argument, but there is no way this Court is gonna entertain it at this point in time . . . nor am I confident that we could “get to five” if it did.

        The 5th Amendment “taking without compensation” argument (which was the main point of this case) is a closer call, but again I don’t see how you “get to five” on it. Kavanaugh and Roberts are not reliable votes on this issue, and I suspect Alito might peel off on it as well.

    • Oh, who am I kidding?

      I was about to say, heck I’ll say it anyway, remember when we thought across the board majorities in 2017 were going to give us the Hearing Protection Act, and probably nationwide CC reciprocity? IIRC, Ryan wouldn’t bring either of those to a vote, and GOP legislators wouldn’t have passed the bills if they were voted on.

      • This tit for tat game for fools does nothing but give Gun Control standing. Until Gun Control is defined for what it is and yanked out by its racist and genocidal roots expect the same old, same old to continue.
        For far too long firearms have been under the microscope while Gun Control has not received an ounce of scrutiny or called out for what it is in any court. And that’s the f-ing problem.

      • “IIRC, Ryan wouldn’t bring either of those to a vote”

        Please use his honorific name: Paul “now is not a good time” Ryan.

  2. The ruling class are very much afraid of the everyday individual. Having cheap rapid fire weapons. The rich, criminal or law abiding, will always have machine guns.

  3. I believe at this point we have conflicting Federal Bumpstock ban rulings, so they are likely to get this issue forced on them anyway in order to deal with that conflict.

    • I don’t think there is much pressure on SCOTUS to resolve a circuit split. Look how long they have taken to resolve the circuit split on carry.

      Nor do I think they likely have some grand plan in mind. They have to ration their time. If there is the slightest reason to not take a case when they know other cases are coming down the pike they are apt to take a pass. E.g., perhaps they would like to uphold the OH (?) bump-stock ban over-turn rather than overturn the MD determination.

  4. Did Heller say unusual and dangerous, or did it say unusual or dangerous?

    I think we can conclude bump fire stocks are unusual, but are they dangerous?
    I might argue that they aren’t dangerous to the guy you’re aiming at, compared to how dangerous a fixed stock AR is…

  5. SCOTUS hasn’t cared about protecting actual, enumerated Constitutional liberties for quite awhile now. It’s all about teasing out new “rights” from tortured interpretations of the text or protecting government power. In the case of the 2A, they justify limitations because they fear the power the 2A gives to ordinary citizens.

    The Justices are just like the rest of our government, they don’t trust average people and they believe “enlightened” elites are charged with the responsibility to protect the unwashed masses from themselves.

    Don’t expect any actual justice from SCOTUS.

  6. Bump stock bans are pointless. They are just a legal alternative to a drop-in auto sear, which can be made from steel sheet stock or a hacksaw blade.

    Anyone with a basic knowledge of annealing and quenching steel can make one, and most people with nefarious intentions will not care about a 10 year felony if they are already planning on 1st degree murder.

    • LOL, I made an auto sear, shot the gunm once and said ” This things gonna get me in trouble.” And took it out.

  7. I can’t post the video clip, but there’s a you tube with Archie Bunker on gunm control, well there’s two, ones kinda lame , the one when hes doing a TV interview. But the first one is great.
    I thought about miner49er arguing with Archie when watching it.

  8. “a nationwide ban on the sale and possession of bump stocks that was put in place by the Trump administration and took effect in 2019.”

    And you want to reelect Donald ‘Nationwide Ban” Trump in 2024?

    “The Supreme Court previously declined to stop the Trump administration from enforcing that ban.”

    And remember how great it was going to be with trumps supreme court nominees protecting your Second Amendment rights?

    Smells like… winning.

    • Actually I’d like to nominate me.
      Think of all the UniverseEndingPerpetualFusionNuetrinoBlombs I could have built.
      I think just for shits and grins I’d give the world two weeks notice to evacuate. Like there’d be any place to go.

  9. Here’s an interesting nugget for the gallery. Maryland’s Constitution incorporates the federal Constitution by reference.

    So, if logic still applied in this world, then Heller and the other pro-gun cases would apply in Maryland by default.

    But this is just one of the many reasons the left wants to do away with logic and rationality.

  10. SCOTUS does not want to address the Second Amendment in any sweeping manner. When you are a “conservative” justice, that means you do not want to change the old rules. Conservative Justices are human beings after all, and they wish to please society at some level. I don’t know what they will do with the New York case, but I don’t think it will be sweeping in any sense of the word. I hope that I am wrong. My wife and my sister think I am wrong about everything.

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