Boots & Sabers

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0608, 17 Jun 24

SCOTUS’ Ruling On Bump Stocks is About Agency Overreach

Democrats are really trying to scare people with SCOTUS’ bump stock ruling by making it about guns because they want you to ignore that the ruling was really about reining in rogue agencies who are abusing their authority. For example:

“But now that they have got a Supreme Court that seems ready to unwind the entirety of the Second Amendment and take away from Congress or the executive branch the ability to keep our communities safe, they’re once again lining up behind the gun industry.”


Murphy’s comments echo the response of gun control advocacy groups, which argued Friday that the court’s ruling will have a dangerous impact in a country constantly reeling from gun violence.

But if you read the actual ruling, the court did not even mention the 2nd Amendment. The ruling rested on the fact that the ATF exceeded its statutory authority to define a bump stock as a “machinegun.”

Held: ATF exceeded its statutory authority by issuing a Rule that classifies a bump stock as a “machinegun” under §5845(b). Pp. 6–19.

(a) A semiautomatic rifle equipped with a bump stock is not a “machinegun” as defined by §5845(b) because: (1) it cannot fire more than one shot “by a single function of the trigger” and (2) even if it could, it would not do so “automatically.” ATF therefore exceeded its statutory authority by issuing a Rule that classifies bump stocks as machineguns. P. 6.

(b) A semiautomatic rifle equipped with a bump stock does not fire more than one shot “by a single function of the trigger.” The phrase “function of the trigger” refers to the mode of action by which the trigger activates the firing mechanism. No one disputes that a semiautomatic rifle without a bump stock is not a machinegun because a shooter must release and reset the trigger between every shot. And, any subsequent shot fired after the trigger has been released and reset is the result of a separate and distinct “function of the trigger.” Nothing changes when a semiautomatic rifle is equipped with a bump stock. Between every shot, the shooter must release pressure from the trigger and allow it to reset before reengaging the trigger for another shot. A bump stock merely reduces the amount of time that elapses between separate “functions” of the trigger.

What Democrats really want to preserve is the ability of federal agencies to operate on their own without the authority of Congress. They WANT to empower the Executive Branch at the expense of the Legislative Branch because they know that their agenda is too unpopular to implement with the consent of the governed. That is why they are up in arms, so to speak, to usurp the court as a means to usurp the Congress.

SCOTUS ruled how all Americans should want them to rule. They simply said that a federal agency may not make up laws. Congress has the sole authority to make laws. If you wanted a different ruling, then you don’t really support democracy.


0608, 17 June 2024


  1. dad29

    Two observations: 1) Republicans love to hide behind regulators just as much as Democrats do. Taking responsibility for governing is anathema to politicians because it will endanger their campaign contributions. 2) The word is spelled “REINING”, not “Reigning.” Texans really ought to know the difference.

  2. Owen

    1) Indeed. This was a Trump overreach.

    2) Ope. Corrected. Thanks.

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