Categories: Press Statements

by Sonya Coleman


Categories: Press Statements



“When I see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.-  Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor in her dissent from the majority opinion in Garland v. Cargill. 

The majority of the US Supreme Court, decided yesterday, using obscure technical reasons, that a bump stock, a device which in 2017 allowed a Las Vegas shooter to fire more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition in 11 minutes, killing 60 people and wounding 413 others, could not be regulated by the ATF as it did not meet the technical definition of a machine gun, and thus not banned under the 1934 National Firearms Act.

“The Supreme Court is clearly not interested in protecting the lives of Americans over the gun industry. There are no legitimate reasons to own a bump stock other than to circumvent federal law banning dangerous weapons that should not be in the hands of civilians,” stated Jeremy Stein, Executive Director of States United to Prevent Gun Violence. 

This misguided decision,  ignores the intent of the Federal ban on machine guns, as well as the Trump-Era ATF ruling: to ban weapons of war and to prevent the Las Vegas shooting from ever happening again; the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

But let us be very clear.

  • This decision was not about the Second Amendment.
  • Congress can pass a ban now to fix this mistake.
  • States can pass bans now as well.

The Supreme Court’s ruling is very limited in scope.  This decision will have little to no effect on States that have already banned bump stocks, or other devices that convert guns into fully automatic machine guns, such as devices known as “auto sears” or “glock switches.”

However, this decision does open the door for easier access to machine gun rate of fire in most of the States,  We cannot rely on the Supreme Court to protect our children, even now that guns are the number one killer of children in America.

We must act by demanding that Congress and State legislators pass bans of bump stocks, assault weapons, and other weapons of war, so that we can live our lives free from gun violence.   We must work vigorously, and support work being done at the State and local level to help pass lifesaving laws.

We anticipate that there may be another SCOTUS ruling soon on the question of whether domestic abusers can be banned from having firearms (Rahimi).  We can pray that the right decision will be reached, but thoughts and prayers have never been enough.  Let us demand that the right decision is made by acting TODAY!

Our lives depend on it.