The US Supreme Court, on April 5, rejected an effort by a pro-gun group to delay the enforcement of a federal ban on bump stocks, devices that attach to firearms and assist rapid firing.
On the evening of October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock, a 64 year old real estate investor and avid gambler, opened fire from the window of a room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. He was using bump stocks, and firing on a concert-attending crowd below him.
Paddock killed 58 people that evening and wounded another 851. Authorities found 23 rifles in the hotel room after the incident. A dozen of them had bump stocks affixed. The Trump administration had the ATF expand its interpretation of existing anti-automatic-weapons statutes, so that bump stocks are now effectively banned.
The courts below have upheld this regulation against challenges, and the challengers appealed the matter to the US Supreme Court: to no avail.
The Thing to Know:
The legal challenge at issue was not based on the 2d amendment to the US Constitution and its right to bear arms. Rather: the challenge pressed arguments that the ATF had overstepped its authority by reinterpreting the statutes, and that it had failed to follow proper administrative procedures for such a reinterpretation.