Washington, DC – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal government’s ban on the sale of bump stocks on Monday after refusing to hear two cases filed by gun advocate groups.
Then-President Trump said in 2018 that the effort began in December of 2017, after an active shooter used bump stocks to increase the firing rate of his weapon as he gunned down 58 concertgoers and injured over 800 others in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017, CBS News reported at the time.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) subsequently classified bump stocks as “machine guns” under a 1986 law banning such weapons, according to ABC News.
Multiple gun rights groups argued that the ATF did not have the authority to make the reclassification and claimed the devices have been mischaracterized.
The U.S. Supreme Court did not elaborate on its decision to reject the two cases that sought to overturn the bump stock ban, ABC News reported.
Gun Owners of America, one of the groups involved in challenging the ban, released a statement Monday denouncing the decision.
“This decision sets a horrible and dangerous precedent, one that will allow the ATF to further arbitrarily regulate various firearms,” the group tweeted. “This very same precedent is already being abused by Joe Biden to ban millions of lawfully purchased pistols even without an ACT of Congress!”
This decision sets a horrible and dangerous precedent, one that will allow the ATF to further arbitrarily regulate various firearms. This very same precedent is already being abused by Joe Biden to ban millions of lawfully purchased pistols even without an ACT of Congress!
— Gun Owners of America (@GunOwners) October 3, 2022
Under the ban, possession of a bump stock constitutes a felony offense that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, ABC News reported.
Citizens who previously purchased bump stocks were required to “divest themselves of possession” by March 26, 2019, according to the ATF website.
“One option is to destroy the device, and the final rule identifies possible methods of destruction, to include completely melting, shredding, or crushing the device,” the ATF said. “Any method of destruction must render the device incapable of being readily restored to function.”
They can also be surrendered at any ATF office, according to the agency’s website.