Breaking: SCOTUS Issues Ruling in Critical Second Amendment Case


The ceaseless debate over Second Amendment rights in the U.S. took another swerve on Friday after the Supreme Court issued a critical ruling in the highly publicized Garland v. Cargill case.

That case, which saw U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland going against Texas gun shop owner Michael Cargill, centers on the legality of bump stock gun attachments.

(Bump stocks replace the stock — the part that rests against the shoulder — of a semi-automatic weapon. Bump stocks harness recoil energy and allow the user to fire bullets more rapidly than with a standard stock.)

A ruling stemming from former President Donald Trump’s administration banned the sale of bump stocks in 2017.

Cargill had to give up his Texas store’s bump stocks to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives before ultimately filing the suit.

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At the heart of the matter is the issue of whether or not bump stocks can turn semi-automatic weaponry into “machineguns,” which are illegal for civilians to own.

The Supreme Court, by a 6-3 decision along ideological lines, ruled that bump stocks do not turn semi-automatic weapons into “machineguns,” thus overturning the Trump-era ruling.

“Congress has long restricted access to ‘machinegun[s],’ a category of firearms defined by the ability to “shoot, automatically more than one shot… by a single function of the trigger,” Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the majority opinion. “Semiautomatic firearms, which require shooters to reengage the trigger for every shot, are not machineguns. This case asks whether a bump stock—an accessory for a semiautomatic rifle that allows the shooter to rapidly reengage the trigger (and therefore achieve a high rate of fire)—converts the rifle into a ‘machinegun.’

“We hold that it does not and therefore affirm.”

Do you agree with the ruling in this case?

Thomas would further explain:  “The question in this case is whether a bump stock transforms a semiautomatic rifle into a ‘machinegun.’

“For many years, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) took the position that semiautomatic rifles equipped with bump stocks were not machineguns under the statute.

“On more than 10 separate occasions over several administrations, ATF consistently concluded that rifles equipped with bump stocks cannot
‘automatically’ fire more than one shot ‘by a single function of the trigger.'”

The majority opinion further argued that it was beyond the ATF’s scope to abruptly change that definition following the horrific 2017 mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert, despite the great political pressure that was put on them by public discourse and politicians alike.

The majority opinion ultimately argued: “A semiautomatic rifle equipped with a bump stock does not fire more than one shot ‘by a single function of the trigger.’

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“With or without a bump stock, a shooter must release and reset the trigger between every shot. And, any subsequent shot fired after the trigger has been released and reset is the result of a separate and distinct ‘function of the trigger.’

“All that a bump stock does is accelerate the rate of fire by causing these distinct “function[s]” of the trigger to occur in rapid succession.”

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the dissenting opinion, where she lamented the decision. Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson joined her.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech