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Analyzing the SCOTUS bump stock ruling

A South Dakota professor said a US Supreme Court ruling rejecting a ban on bump stocks can be seen as a win for gun advocates.

A bump stock is an attachment to increase the fire rate of a semi-automatic firearm, often over hundreds of rounds per minute.

The Trump Administration moved to ban the device following the alleged use of the attachment in a 2017 Las Vegas shooting that left 57 dead.

Mike Thompson is a professor of criminal justice at the University of Sioux Falls. In his analysis, he said the arguments orbit technical language.

“It’s not a case involving Constitutional interpretation, it’s a case involving the definition of a “machine gun.” That’s when the (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) ATF included “bump stock” in the definition of “machine gun,” making them illegal to own or to use,” Thompson said.

In turn, this ruling found the ATF had overstepped its authority in classifying the attachment as a “machine gun,” thus overturning the ban.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture