WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Friday stepped into a new gun rights battle by agreeing to weigh whether a Trump-era ban on so-called bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic rifles to fire more quickly, is lawful.
The justices were asked by both the Biden administration and gun rights activists to take up the issue, with lower courts reaching differing conclusions on it.
The case concerns Texas-based gun owner and licensed dealer Michael Cargill, who owned two bump stocks before the ban went into effect and later surrendered them to the government. He sued, claiming that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives lacked the legal authority to implement the prohibition.
The conservative-majority high court issued a major ruling in June 2022 that expanded gun rights, although the legal issues arising from the bump stocks ban are different.
Bump stocks are accessories for semi-automatic rifles, such as the popular AR-15-style weapons. They use the recoil energy of a trigger pull to enable the user to fire up to hundreds of rounds a minute.
President Donald Trump’s administration imposed the ban after the mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017, when Stephen Paddock used bump stocks to open fire on a country music festival, initially killing 58 people. Paddock