Are bump stocks illegal?

A bump stock is a device that can be attached to a semi-automatic weapon to make it fire very quickly. Essentially, it allows the user to hold the trigger down and uses the gun’s own recoil to move the weapon itself forward and backward, firing a round each time it does so.

What this means is that the weapon, though still only firing once each time the trigger is depressed, can fire much faster than a human could pull that trigger with their finger. Some have claimed that this essentially makes these weapons into illegal machine guns, as the result is similar, though the technical process of firing is much different.

In any case, after 58 people were killed in one night with bump stock-equipped weapons in Las Vegas in 2017, the stocks were federally banned.

That rule may be put on hold

However, a recent development may change that entirely. A split court ruled that it may be illegal to ban bump stocks. This could put the ruling on hold, essentially making them legal again until the courts come to a concrete conclusion.

There are a lot of potential issues they want to debate, but one revolves around the heart of the bump stock design. Machine guns are illegal because someone can suppress the trigger and fire multiple rounds, which was deemed too dangerous for civilians. A bump stock fires quickly, but the court specifically noted that the trigger does have to cycle each time a round is fired — just like any other semi-automatic weapon.

This is an important development, as it could redefine gun rights and make devices that were previously illegal to own and sell legal again. Gun laws in the United States have had to address changes in technology since they were first written, and this is just one more change that the courts will have to interpret and consider.

Are you facing charges?

If you’re facing charges related to bump stocks in particular, this is important news that could drastically impact your case. If you’re looking at any type of federal weapons charges, though, make sure you know what legal options you have.

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