Bump Stocks Destroyed as SCOTUS Again Declines to Halt Ban

Ban on the devices took effect Tuesday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 28, 2019 2:47 PM CDT
Bump Stocks Destroyed as SCOTUS Again Declines to Halt Ban
In this Oct. 4, 2017, file photo, a device called a "bump stock" is attached to a semi-automatic rifle at the Gun Vault store and shooting range in South Jordan, Utah.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

The largest supplier of bump stocks turned in its entire remaining inventory to be destroyed—some 60,000 devices. Washington state's buyback program was so popular it ran out of money. One dealer held a "Viking funeral" for his last bump stock, pouring a can of beer on it and then melting it down with a flamethrower. A nationwide ban took effect Tuesday on bump stocks, the attachment used by the gunman in the 2017 Las Vegas massacre to make his weapons fire rapidly like machine guns, the AP reports. And on Thursday, the Supreme Court again declined to put the ban on hold. Gun rights groups had asked the court Monday to keep the government from enforcing the ban for now. Chief Justice John Roberts declined one request for the court to get involved on Tuesday and a second request was declined by the court on Thursday. That was the only remaining request.

How many of the estimated half-million devices believed to be in circulation in the US are still around is anyone's guess, but in the weeks leading up to the ban, there were signs that many were destroyed or turned in as required. Anyone in possession of a bump stock from now on can be charged with a federal offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms outlawed the attachments at President Trump's direction after the Las Vegas gunman rained fire from his high-rise hotel suite on concertgoers, killing 58 people in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. The administration's ban puts it in the unusual position of arguing against gun rights groups, and is an about-face for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In 2010, under the Obama administration, the ATF found that the devices were legal. But under the Trump administration, officials revisited that determination and found it incorrect.

(Read more bump stocks stories.)

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