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Supreme Court's ruling overturning the 'bump stock' ban leaves some disappointed in Nevada

Investigators work the site of a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. The U.S. Supreme Court, Friday, June 14, 2024, struck down a ban on the rapid-fire rifle bump stock used by the gunman who rattled off over 1,000 bullets in 11 minutes in Las Vegas in 2017.
Marcio Jose Sanchez
/
Associated Press
Investigators work the site of a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip, Oct. 3, 2017, in Las Vegas. The U.S. Supreme Court, Friday, June 14, 2024, struck down a ban on the rapid-fire rifle bump stock used by the gunman who rattled off over 1,000 bullets in 11 minutes in Las Vegas in 2017.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision on June 14 invalidating the ban on bump stock devices for guns. It’s an issue that hits home in many cities in our region including Las Vegas, the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Bump stocks are devices that attach to guns and essentially allow them to fire at a rate similar to automatic weapons or machine guns. The same device was used in the October 2017 shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, which ultimately claimed the lives of 60 people.

The Trump administration banned bump stocks after the Las Vegas shooting, but the Supreme Court determined the administration overstepped its bounds in issuing the ban.

“if you put a bump stock on a gun you can then fire 400-800 rounds in a minute," said Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus, who has been instrumental in trying to pass legislation to prevent the use of bump stocks. "It’s not for hunting, it’s not for sport.  It’s a weapon of war.” 

Titus thinks the Supreme Court decision will garner more support for her bill.

Following the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre, the ATF moved to classify bump stocks as illegal under an existing ban on automatic weapons. Earlier this year a bipartisan group of lawmakers tried to turn that regulatory ban into law.

Titus introduced the "Closing the Bump Stock Loophole Act" to codify the ATF ruling.  The Supreme Court in its ruling said the ATF did not have the authority to ban bump stocks, a challenge Titus expected and prompted her to propose this bill.

“In the meantime, 11 states, including Nevada, have passed state laws banning bump stocks," Titus said. "This decision will not overturn those state laws."

Titus is hoping the bill will come up for a vote in the coming weeks.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio (KNPR) in Las Vegas, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, KUNC in Colorado and KANW in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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Yvette Fernandez is the regional reporter for the Mountain West News Bureau. She joined Nevada Public Radio in September 2021.
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