Bump Stock Ban Proceeds After Supreme Court Denies Gun Advocates' Request To Halt It
Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET
The U.S. Supreme Court officially denied an appeal from gun rights advocates seeking to stop a Trump administration ban on bump stocks, the gun add-ons that can dramatically increase their rate of fire. The ban went into effect on Tuesday.
Gun rights groups had filed separate appeals to Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, requesting a temporary hold on the ban. Roberts denied one appeal earlier this week; Sotomayor referred hers to the full court, which denied it on Thursday, allowing the ban to proceed while challenges to it move through the courts.
Bump stocks gained national attention after they were used in the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, where a gunman used bump-stock outfitted rifles to kill 58 people at an outdoor concert.
The ban requires bump stocks to be destroyed — such as by melting, shredding or crushing — or handed over at an office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The ATF recommends making an appointment with the ATF office beforehand.
As NPR's Bill Chappell reported on Wednesday, the anticipation of a ban spurred sales of the devices:
RW Arms, a prominent bump stock retailer based in Fort Worth, Texas, says its entire remaining inventory of 60,000 bump stocks has now been turned over to the ATF's custody. The items will be "shredded and recycled under the supervision of ATF agents," the company said.
In the run-up to the total ban, RW Arms had rushed to sell as many bump stocks as it could, posting a countdown clock on its website to warn customers of the impending change. Its bump stocks were priced at between $179 and $199; the website now says they're out of stock.
The ATF isn't saying exactly how many bump stocks have been turned in so far — in large part because there are many ways for gun owners to comply with the law. But the agency's chief of public affairs, April Langwell, says bump stock owners have turned the accessories in at ATF field offices "all across the country."
Some states and cities banned the devices more than a year ago.
Correction March 28, 2019
A previous version of this story said that gun-makers had sought removal of the ban. In fact, it was gun-rights groups that asked the court for a stay on the ban.