NEW YORK – Today, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in United States v. Cargill, which centers on a reckless decision from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to strike down a rule issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to prohibit the production, sale, and possession of bump stocks, devices that are designed and intended to convert semi-automatic firearms into machine guns. Today’s announcement from the Supreme Court comes just days before the Court is set to hear oral argument in another critical case regarding gun safety: United States v. Rahimi.
The ATF’s rule was issued under the Trump Administration and following the deadliest mass shooting in American history – the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas where a gunman, using firearms equipped with bump stocks, opened fire at a music festival, killing 60 people and wounding at least 411 people.
In January, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the ATF’s life-saving rule, contradicting two other federal appeals courts that previously rejected challenges to the ban. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is also at the center of a case currently before the Supreme Court: United States v. Rahimi, which centers on the Fifth Circuit’s extreme decision to strike down the long-standing law prohibiting individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing guns.
“Guns equipped with bump stocks can cause massive devastation. These are devices that fire like machine guns and kill like machine guns, so it’s a no-brainer that they should be regulated like machine guns,” said Nick Suplina, Senior Vice President for Law and Policy at Everytown for Gun Safety. “Following the deadly mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, the ATF took action to ban these dangerous accessories but thanks to a panel of extreme judges on the Fifth Circuit, this life-saving rule is in peril. The Supreme Court must overturn the lower court’s deadly decision and keep bumpstocks out of the marketplace.”
“Once again, the Fifth Circuit put the whims of the gun lobby ahead of public safety, invalidating a life saving policy that had already been upheld by two other appeals courts,” said Eric Tirschwell, Executive Director of Everytown Law. “The Fifth Circuit’s decision to invalidate the ATF’s rule on bump stocks not only lacks any common-sense, it will absolutely put our communities in danger. We urge the Supreme Court to affirm the ATF’s authority to regulate these deadly accessories and keep them off of our streets. Lives are on the line.”