Washington, D.C. – Today, three of the nation’s leading gun violence prevention organizations– Brady, Everytown for Gun Safety, and GIFFORDS Law Center–filed an amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the United States Department of Justice’s (DOJ) petition for certiorari in United States v. Cargill.
The brief urges the Court to take up the case to reverse the Fifth Circuit’s dangerous and misguided decision invalidating a rule issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that prohibited the production, sale, and possession of bump stocks, devices that enable semiautomatic firearms to be converted into machine guns.
In 2019, following the nation’s deadliest mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival where a gunman, using firearms equipped with bump stocks, opened fire – firing more than 1,000 bullets and killing 60 people – ATF issued a rule categorizing bump stocks as machine guns under the federal Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act. The devices harness the recoil of a semiautomatic firearm to enable continuous fire with a single pull of the trigger. Civilian ownership of newly- manufactured machine guns has been illegal since 1986.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a failed challenge to the bump stock rule, allowing a decision upholding the rule to stay in place.
The amicus brief can be found here.
Kris Brown, President of Brady:
“Bump stocks turn semi-automatic weapons into the functional equivalent of automatic ones, and, like assault weapons, they have no place in civilian life. The ATF was right to ban these devices following the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest shooting and we urge the Supreme Court to take up this case and reverse this disastrous and deadly Fifth Circuit decision. Lives are counting on it.”
John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety:
“Guns outfitted with bump stocks fire like machine guns, they kill like machine guns, and they need to be regulated like machine guns—which are illegal in the United States. It’s no coincidence that bump stocks were used in the deadliest mass shooting in our nation’s history, when 60 people were murdered at a country music festival in Las Vegas. The Supreme Court must overturn the Fifth Circuit’s deadly decision and get these accessories of war — and that’s what bump stocks are — out of the marketplace.”
Esther Sanchez-Gomez, Litigation Director, GIFFORDS Law Center:
“We’ve seen the horrific damage bump stocks can do: that have been used to perpetrate the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. Firearms are lethal, and this tool—which easily converts semi automatic rifles into fully automatic ones—poses an especially grave danger if left unregulated. The extremist Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has once again put the whims of the gun lobby ahead of the safety of all Americans. The Supreme Court must grant certiorari to correct the decision, uphold ATF’s strict regulation of these dangerous accessories, and carry forward Congressional intent to protect against workarounds. This commonsense, and it will undoubtedly save lives.”
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in the common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.
Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund (“Everytown for Gun Safety”) is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with nearly ten million supporters and more than 700,000 donors including moms, mayors, survivors, students, and everyday Americans who are fighting for common-sense gun safety measures that can help save lives. Learn more at www.everytown.org and follow us @Everytown.
For 30 years, the legal experts at GIFFORDS Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence have been fighting for a safer America by researching, drafting, and defending the laws, policies, and programs proven to save lives from gun violence.