The Second Amendment-related issues under review by the U.S. Supreme Court are the challenges to the prohibition on “bump stocks” by the Biden administration and the exclusion of the National Rifle Association from New York State.
As per a Friday report by Fox News, the bump stock controversy revolves around the application of a firearm modification known as a “bump stock” to particular rifles. In contrast, the NRA lawsuit is a legal dispute concerning the organization’s preservation of free speech rights.
According to the report, “The high court will hear arguments in the case National Rifle Association of America v. Vullo, which questions whether a government regulator threatening regulated entities with adverse regulatory actions if they do business with a controversial speaker, allegedly because of the government’s own hostility to the speaker’s viewpoint, violates the First Amendment.”
According to Fox, “The former Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), Maria T. Vullo, at the behest of former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, allegedly wielded DFS’s regulatory power to financially blacklist the NRA – coercing banks and insurers to cut ties with the association, in an effort, the group says, to suppress its speech.”
Moreover, according to the lawsuit initiated by the NRA, Vullo employed covert intimidation strategies against regulated businesses, offering them pardons for unrelated transgressions in return for their commitment to boycott the gun rights organization.
NRA CEO & EVP Wayne LaPierre remarked that “This is a historic step forward for the NRA, its millions of members, and all who believe in the freedom of speech. The NRA’s fight continues – this time in the highest court in the land. At a time when free speech is under attack as never before, we believe the Supreme Court will send a message to government officials that they cannot use intimidation tactics to silence those with whom they disagree.”
In the second case, Garland v. Cargill, the Supreme Court deliberates on whether the use of a bump stock device effectively transforms certain firearms into “machine gun” as defined by federal law, by virtue of the device’s function of “automatically more than one shot… by a single function of the trigger.”
A prohibition on bump stocks was enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) during the Trump administration, in response to the tragic mass shooting that occurred in Las Vegas in 2017. That event claimed the lives of 60 people and injured 500 others.
According to Fox News, it was stated that…
Semi-automatic rifles with bump stocks could fire hundreds of rounds per minute, according to experts.
They were originally created to make it easier for people with disabilities to fire a gun. The device essentially replaces the gun’s stock and pistol grip and causes the weapon to buck back and forth, repeatedly “bumping” the trigger against the shooter’s finger.
Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works, sued the government after he was forced to surrender several bump stocks under the ATF’s rule.
Cargill argued in his petition that the Supreme Court should take up the case because the question presented “has sharply divided the federal courts of appeals.”
Evidently, three federal appeals courts concur with the pre-2018 restriction imposed by the ATF, stating that the devices in question lack the capability to convert rifles into machine guns, according to the report. On the contrary, two further appeals courts concur with the prohibition that the agency has implemented.
The legal counsel for Cargill, as reported by Fox News, is an organization known as the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA). Mark Chenoweth, president and general counsel of the NCLA, states, “this is not a case about gun rights. It is a case about administrative power.” Concerning the exercise of administrative authority, this case relates.
“Congress never gave ATF the power to rewrite federal criminal statutes pertaining to machine guns—nor could it. Writing federal criminal laws is the sole preserve of Congress, and the Trump and Biden administrations committed grievous constitutional error by trying to ban bump stocks without involving Congress. We are confident the U.S. Supreme Court will right this wrong for Michael Cargill and all Americans,” he expressed with assurance.
As per a report by Fox News, oral arguments are reportedly slated to occur in the forthcoming year, culminating in the delivery of rulings in June.
Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat from California, proposed the 28th Amendment to the Constitution in June of this year. Newsom asserts that his proposal would reduce gun violence across the nation.
The focus shifts from the issue of mental illness and the absence of fundamental human empathy exhibited by former and potential shooters to the restriction of the right to bear arms for Americans.
According to him, the proposed amendment, which Newsom endorsed via press release and Twitter, would prohibit “assault weapons” on a national level, require purchasers to wait, and conduct background checks on all individuals.