Supreme Court won't stop Trump administration's bump stock ban

Gun advocates had asked for an emergency stay.

March 28, 2019, 12:23 PM

The Supreme Court will not stop the Trump administration's ban on bump stocks from going into effect, it was announced on Thursday.

The ban on bump stocks was announced by the Justice Department in December and took effect on Tuesday. On Monday, the Supreme Court was considering an emergency request from Gun Owners of America, Gun Owners Foundation and the Virginia Citizens Defense League to stay the ban while cases challenging it were appealed.

Chief Justice John Roberts denied a request to temporarily delay the ban on bump stocks on Tuesday, but another request to delay the ban was still pending with Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Bump stocks are devices that allow a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

PHOTO: The Supreme Court building is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., March 26, 2019.
The Supreme Court building is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., March 26, 2019.
Carolyn Kaster/AP, FILE

Efforts to ban the devices were kicked into high gear following a mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival in October 2017 that killed 58 people and left hundreds wounded. The shooter had used a bump stock on a rifle in that attack.

"We are faithfully following President Trump's leadership by making clear that bump stocks, which turn semiautomatics into machine guns, are illegal, and we will continue to take illegal guns off of our streets," then-acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said in the December announcement.

The ban, which took effect at midnight on Tuesday, makes possession of a bump stock a felony subject to up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. More than 500,000 Americans who previously purchased a bump stock are required to turn it in or destroy it, the gun advocacy groups said.

The bump stock ban had also been challenged recently in Utah by Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, but U.S. District Judge Jill Parrish ruled that a request to grant an injunction to temporarily stop the ban was denied as Aposhian did not show "a substantial likelihood of success," per the Salt Lake Tribune.

ABC News' Luke Barr and Devin Dwyer contributed to this report.

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