Supreme court votes 6-3 to strike down federal ‘bump stocks’ ban – live

Gun Rights

The supreme court has ruled 6-3 in favor of a challenge to a federal ban on gun ‘bump stock’ devices.

A bump stock is an accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire like machine guns.

The vote was 6-3, with liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson dissenting.

Reactions on the supreme court’s ruling on bump stocks are starting to come in, with Florida’s Democratic representative Maxwell Alejandro Frost tweeting:

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“A disgraceful decision by the corrupt supreme court that will results in the death of more Americans, especially children.

Congress must act swiftly to pass a bump stocks ban. Time to organize.”

A disgraceful decision by the Corrupt Supreme Court that will results in the death of more Americans, especially children.

Congress must act swiftly to pass a Bump Stocks Ban. Time to Organize. https://t.co/GXBp91OoQh

— Maxwell Alejandro Frost (@MaxwellFrostFL) June 14, 2024

The US supreme court’s decision to strike down a federal ban on ‘bump stocks’ marks a step back for gun control organisations.

The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington reports:

The top court’s ruling in Garland v Cargill nullifies the Trump administration’s 2018 regulation from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) which ordered anyone who owned a bump stock to destroy it or hand it over to federal agents. The rule was passed in the after the devastating 2017 mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas, in which a gunman fired more than 1,000 rounds, killing 60 people and injuring almost 500.

After the ban, Michael Cargill, a US army veteran who owned a gun store in Austin, Texas, gave up several bump stocks in his possession. He then challenged the regulation before the supreme court.

The scrapping of the ban will dismay gun control organizations such as Sandy Hook Promise, which has warned that bump stocks make guns all the more deadly by allowing multiple shots to be fired every second with just one pull of the trigger. Public reaction was so strong after the Las Vegas disaster that even the National Rifle Association, a body notorious for opposing gun regulations, joined the call for the add-ons to be taken out of circulation.

In her dissent against the supreme court’s ruling on bump stocks, liberal justice Sonia Sotomayor said:

“When I see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.”

She adds that the “majority’s artificially narrow definition hamstrings the government’s efforts to keep machine guns from gunmen like the Las Vegas shooter.”

Meanwhile, conservative justice Clarence Thomas said that a semiautomatic rifle with a bump stock is not a “machine gun” because it does not fire more than one shot “by a single function of the trigger” as the statute requires.

Conservative justice Samuel Alito echoed similar sentiments, saying that there is “simply no other way to read the statutory language.”

The supreme court has ruled 6-3 in favor of a challenge to a federal ban on gun ‘bump stock’ devices.

A bump stock is an accessory that allows semiautomatic weapons to fire like machine guns.

The vote was 6-3, with liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson dissenting.

The supreme court is due to issue another round of decisions at around 10am.

It remains to be seen whether the nation’s highest court will decide if Donald Trump is immune to criminal charges in the election interference case surrounding him.

Friday’s upcoming decisions will follow the court’s ruling on Thursday which upheld access to mifepristone, a common abortion pill, in a victory for reproductive rights.

Michigan’s Democratic representative Rashida Tlaib has called for justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito to be removed from the supreme court after a series of scandals surrounding their acceptance of luxury gifts.

In an address yesterday, Tlaib said:

“I know we need urgent action to hold these unhinged, corrupt extremists accountable. It is extremely disturbing that the United States supreme court, the highest court of our land, is the only court that does not having enforceable code of conducts…

It’s time to expand the supreme court. It’s time for reforms… We need to enact term limits to supreme court justices and enforce binding code of conducts, real reforms and expedite impeachment proceedings.”

The Supreme Court is facing a corruption crisis. We need to expand the Supreme Court, enact term limits on Supreme Court Justices, enforce a binding code of ethics, and expedite impeachment proceedings.

Thomas and Alito need to be impeached and removed from the bench. pic.twitter.com/pRQxjMqFDu

— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) June 13, 2024

Here is more from Senate judiciary committee chair Dick Durbin on his revelation yesterday that justice Clarence Thomas failed to disclose further details on his gifted private travel:

“As a result of our investigation and subpoena authorization, we are providing the American public greater clarity on the extent of ethical lapses by supreme court justices and the need for ethics reform.

Despite an approval rating near all-time lows and never-ending, self-inflicted scandals, Chief Justice Roberts still refuses to use his existing authority to implement an enforceable code of conduct. Until he acts, we will continue our push for the supreme court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act to become law.”

According to documents obtained by the committee, GOP billionaire donor Harlan Crow revealed travel and gifts he gave to Thomas which Thomas failed to disclose.

Those include:

  • May 2017 private jet travel from St. Louis, MO, to Kalispell, MT, and return flight to Dallas, TX;

  • March 2019 private jet travel from Washington, DC, to Savannah, GA, and back; and

  • June 2021 private jet travel from Washington, DC, to San Jose, CA, and back.

Good morning,

Outrage is growing as more revelations surrounding justice Clarence Thomas’s acceptance of luxury gifts emerge while the nation’s highest court prepares to issue another set of opinions today.

On Thursday, the chair of the Senate judiciary committee, Dick Durbin, said that Thomas took at least three additional trips funded by GOP billionaire donor Harlan Crow which Clarence did not disclose.

“The Senate judiciary committee’s ongoing investigation into the supreme court’s ethical crisis … makes it crystal clear that the highest court needs an enforceable code of conduct, because its members continue to choose not to meet the moment,” Durbin said in a statement on Thursday.

Meanwhile, as the scandal surrounding the court thickens, the court is set to issue another set of opinions at 10am today following its decision yesterday to uphold access to mifepristone, a common abortion pill.

Here are other developments in US politics:

  • Donald Trump has made his first visit to Capitol Hill following the January 6 insurrection on 2021 where he was serenaded by Republican leaders.

  • Kamala Harris is set to travel to Atlanta as part of the Joe Biden administration’s economic opportunity tour for a moderated conversation on economic development.

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