WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court on Monday again declined to hear a lawsuit involving a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, the gun attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns.
The justices’ decision not to hear the case leaves in place a lower court decision that rejected bump stock owners’ efforts to be compensated for bump stocks they lawfully purchased, but were required to to give up after the administration ruled they were illegal. Lower courts had said the case should be dismissed.
As is typical, the justices made no comments in declining to hear the case, and it was among many the court rejected Monday.
Last month, the justices rejected two other challenges involving the ban. Gun rights advocates, however, scored a big win at the court earlier this year, when the justices by a 6-3 vote expanded gun-possession rights, weakening states’ ability to limit the carrying of guns in public.
The Trump administration’s ban on bump stocks took effect in 2019 and came about as a result of the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas. The gunman there used assault-style rifles to fire into the crowd of 22,000 music fans.
Most of the rifles were fitted with bump stock devices and high-capacity magazines. A total of 58 people were killed in the shooting, and two died later. Hundreds were injured.
The Trump administration’s ban on bump stocks was an about-face for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. In 2010, under the Obama administration, the agency found that bump stocks should not be classified as a “machinegun” and therefore should not be banned under federal law.
Under the Trump administration, officials revisited that determination and found it incorrect.
The case the court rejected Monday was Roy Lynn McCutchen v. U.S., 22-25.