Schumer Seeks Bill To Ban Bump Stocks After Supreme Court Ruling

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by Tyler Durden
Monday, Jun 17, 2024 - 02:55 PM

Authored by Stacy Robinson via The Epoch Times,

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for legislation to outlaw bump stocks after the Supreme Court struck down a President Donald Trump-era ban on the gun accessory.

A 6–3 opinion by the high court found that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) exceeded its authority when it interpreted a federal firearms statute to outlaw the use of bump stocks. Bump stocks are attached to the butt end of a rifle, causing them to fire again by bumping against the finger on recoil.

“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,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement.

The ATF in 2018, with the support of President Trump, reversed its earlier position and declared bump stocks illegal in response to the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which a gunman used firearms equipped with bump stocks to fire multiple guns more rapidly, killing 60 and leaving hundreds wounded.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito filed a concurrence on June 14 that emphasized Congress’s role. “There is a simple remedy for the disparate treatment of bump stocks and machineguns,” he said. “Congress can amend the law—and perhaps would have done so already if ATF had stuck with its earlier interpretation. Now that the situation is clear, Congress can act.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the Supreme Court decision “deeply disappointing.” 

“Today’s ruling renews a call for Congress to enact further gun safety legislation,” he wrote on X. 

Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost (D-Fla.) echoed this, writing on X that the ruling was a “disgraceful decision” that “will result in the death of more Americans, especially children.” 

Some Republicans saw the ruling as a victory for Second Amendment rights. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said on June 16 that any legislation to ban bump stocks might violate the Second Amendment.

“It treads close to the line,” Mr. Cotton told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“You’d want to look at the legislative language, but more than anything, what we need to do to stop crime in this country is to get tough on crime,” he said.

Dems Want More Action on Gun Violence

The decision was issued one day after House Democrats urged more regulations to address what they described as an epidemic of gun violence.  

Assistant Minority Leader Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) led the June 13 press conference at the Capitol, drawing attention to issues surrounding the right to bear arms, including bump stocks and the sale of untraceable “ghost guns,” which have no serial numbers and could be purchased in build-it-yourself kits until the ATF cracked down on their sale.  

“The House Democratic Caucus has become the gun safety caucus. We truly are the new gun lobby,” Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) said.

For some of the lawmakers, the issue of gun safety hits close to home. 

Ms. McBath’s son was murdered in a confrontation in 2017, following a complaint that his music was too loud. She responded to the Supreme Court ruling to say: ”I came to Congress to prevent any other families from feeling the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence … The American people deserve better than this.”

Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) also related the horrors of her time as a 9-1-1 operator, and having to hear one caller, an 11-year-old girl, being shot to death by her uncle. 

The Democratic lawmakers highlighted President Biden’s recently established Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Created in September 2023, it advocates for the same legislative initiatives: banning of high-capacity magazines, universal background checks, and elimination of gun manufacturer liability.  

The lawmakers highlighted a perceived lack of bipartisan cooperation in their efforts.

“This issue is only partisan in the United States Congress, and that’s unacceptable,” said Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. 

“We all believe that there are things we can do to make our communities safer, that don’t violate anyone’s right to own a firearm,” Mr. Thompson said.

President Trump’s press secretary issued a statement after the ruling, saying:

“The Court has spoken and their decision should be respected.” 

The Epoch Times has reached out to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for comment.