Skip to Main Content

SCOTUS Decision Strikes Down Critical Bump Stock Ban

GIFFORDS Law Center implores Congress take action to keep automatic weapons off the streets 

Washington DC — Today, GIFFORDS Law Center condemned the United States Supreme Court ruling to overturn the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) rule banning bump stocks. Bump stocks dramatically increase the rate at which a semiautomatic rifle can fire, approaching the rate of a fully automatic gun, and they allow a shooter to fire many more rounds, but much less accurately. Rifles equipped with bump stocks were used in the shooting on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, where the shooter fired more than 1,000 rounds in 11 minutes—killing 60 people. After the shooting, ATF issued a rule categorizing bump stocks as machine guns under the federal Gun Control Act and National Firearms Act. Civilian ownership of newly-manufactured machine guns has been illegal since 1986.

GIFFORDS Law Center, along with other gun violence prevention groups, jointly filed an amicus brief urging the Court to uphold the federal bump stock ban, which was cited during the oral argument. 

“Today’s Supreme Court decision overturning ATF’s bump stock ban is reckless and dangerous. ATF banned bump stocks after the horrific 1 October shooting in Las Vegas, at GIFFORDS’s urging, because these devices turn semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic guns, which are dangerous and illegal. We’ve seen bump stocks cause immense destruction and violence. The majority of justices today sided with the gun lobby instead of the safety of the American people. This is a shameful decision,” saidGIFFORDS Law Center Litigation Director Esther Sanchez-Gomez. “Congress must act to undo the damage and make clear that bump stocks, and all automatic conversion devices, are illegal under federal law.”


Our experts can speak to the full spectrum of gun violence prevention issues. Have a question? Email us at