Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has denied the first of two emergency requests to block a bump stock ban that went into effect Tuesday.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor is expected to rule on a second request Tuesday.
The federal ban on bump stocks takes effect more than a year after the gadget was used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, in which a gunman killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others at a concert in Las Vegas. The device is often used to upgrade the shooting capacity of semiautomatic guns into fully automatic mode.
Anyone who owns the bump-stock-type device, which the government now officially designates as a “machine gun,” must destroy it or turn it over to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — or ATF. The ban will be enforced just like any machine gun violation, with penalties that include fines and prison time.
The bureau estimates that the number of bump stocks held by the public ranges from 280,000 to 520,000.
Among the gun-rights groups fighting the measure is the Firearms Policy Foundation, which condemned the ruling in a statement Tuesday morning.
“President Trump made possibly hundreds of thousands of American gun owners felons with a pen and a phone,” the foundation wrote. “While we are disappointed that the application was denied by Chief Justice Roberts the litigation is far from over.”
The group filed the emergency request that was denied Tuesday morning along with the Madison Society Foundation and Florida Carry. They plan to continue to fight what they described as the government’s “strong-arm approach to changing criminal laws by executive fiat.”
The U.S. Department of Justice decided to amend firearm rules after congress failed to act on the proposal following the 2017 Las Vegas concert shooting.
The second emergency request, which Justice Sotomayor was expected to review on Tuesday, was filed by Gun Owners of America.
“The (rule) is the very embodiment of a violation of the separation of powers –Congressional authority being wielded by an administrative agency,” the group wrote in its emergency request. “What’s more, this case does not involve a run-of-the-mill regulatory provision. Rather, the agency has created a new crime — felony ownership of a bump stock — out of whole cloth.”
(c)2019 New York Daily News
Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.