Schumer calls for bill to ban bump stocks after Supreme Court ruling

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Friday condemned a 6-3 Supreme Court ruling overturning the Trump-era ban on bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic guns to fire like machine guns, and called on Congress to pass legislation to counter the decision.

“The far-right Supreme Court continues their unprecedented assault on public safety by reversing the commonsense guidance issued in 2018 by the ATF. Bump stocks have played a devastating role in many of the horrific mass shootings in our country, but sadly it’s no surprise to see the Supreme Court roll back this necessary public safety rule as they push their out of touch extreme agenda. They’re even further to the right of Donald Trump,” Schumer said in a statement responding to the ruling.

“As I warned the Trump administration at the time, the only way to permanently close this loophole is through legislation. Senate Democrats are ready to pass legislation to ban bump stocks but we will need votes from Senate Republicans,” he said.

The Trump administration banned bump stocks through executive action after the 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, where a shooter used the device and killed nearly 60 people, making it the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.

A 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court, however, ruled Friday that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) had exceeded its authority by banning bump stocks.

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, found that that the federal agency could not classify bump stocks as a machine gun because they do not allow a rifle to fire multiple shots per “single function” of the trigger.

“Even if one aspect of the weapon’s operation could be seen as ‘automatic,’ that would not mean the weapon ‘shoots … automatically more than one shot … by a single function of the trigger,’” Thomas wrote.

“Thus, even if a semiautomatic rifle could fire more than one shot by a single function of the trigger, it would not do so ‘automatically,’” he wrote.

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