The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected continuing efforts to overturn an executive action banning bump stocks, declining to hear multiple challenges to the Department of Justice rule prohibiting the production, sale and possession of bump stocks. Everytown has previously urged the courts to reject these challenges, played a pivotal role in ensuring the rule was finalized in 2019 and joined two amicus briefs in support of the rule. The Court’s decision today shows that smart gun safety regulations and executive actions are consistent with the Second Amendment.
The news comes just days after the five-year mark of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, in which a shooter killed at least 60 people and injured at least 411 more using guns equipped with bump stocks, in the largest and deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. In the years following the Las Vegas shooting, states across the country enacted laws prohibiting bump stocks.
“Prohibiting bump stocks, which effectively turn rifles into machine guns, is the very definition of a common sense gun measure,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Our volunteers don’t stop until the job is done, and this years-long fight to take bump stocks off the market is just the latest example of their perseverance.”
“There is absolutely no reason that anyone needs easy access to a device designed to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Leaving the bump stock ban in place is a win for gun safety, for survivors of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting, and for the Moms Demand Action and Student Demand Action grassroots army that fought hard to get this rule on the books.”
In 2017, Everytown and Moms Demand Action mobilized gun safety supporters in support of the rule and worked to ensure the rule was finalized. When the rule was initially proposed, Everytown filed a formal comment urging the Department of Justice to finalize it, and clarify that existing federal law does indeed prohibit bump stocks and many other conversion devices.
During the second round of public comments on the proposed regulation, the number of comments more than tripled as Everytown and Moms Demand Action mobilized tens of thousands of supporters to demand action to prohibit bump stocks and similarly deadly devices. An ATF analysis showed that in that period, of the nearly 120,000 comments filed, more than 64 percent of the comments expressed support for regulating bump stocks.
Machine guns have been tightly regulated under federal law since the 1930s, but bump stocks and other conversion devices are designed to skirt the law and mimic automatic gunfire and can increase the lethality of shootings.