Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Trump and the NRA counted on the Supreme Court to keep bump stocks legal

By 37ci3 Jun14,2024

WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump really didn’t want to ban bump stocks. When he did, he knew the Supreme Court could overturn his decision.

One 6-3 decision on Fridaythis is what the righteous do.

The decision revealed Trump’s true feelings on the issue after seven years of political drama, as he accepted the court’s reversal, with a spokesman saying Americans should respect the decision.

It’s possible that the Supreme Court — at a lower level, but similar to its decision to overturn abortion rights — will trigger a backlash that helps President Joe Biden and hurts Trump in the November rematch.

But for now, Trump’s strategy of avoiding a sustained response 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting seems to be playing according to plan.

In the immediate aftermath of the massacre, which left 58 dead and hundreds injured, Trump faced a difficult political dilemma.

He was shocked and outraged by the murders 4 out of 5 Americans said the government should cut off access to the shoulder-pad device-style bump stocks that allowed killer Stephen Paddock to fire a semi-automatic rifle at full-automatic weapon speed. At the time, Democrats in the minority in both houses demanded congressional action, and some Republican lawmakers agreed.

Trump faced a stark choice: do nothing and alienate key voters, or push Congress to legalize the ban, which would anger some gun-rights voters in the GOP base and highlight divisions within his own party.

Republican lawmakers said he could push the legislation through Congress if he chooses that path. “No one in my district gives me more shelter than Donald Trump,” said Tom Rooney, then the U.S. representative to the United States. [bump stocks] should be illegal, they should be illegal.”

Trump quickly found a third option that turned the heat on the gun control debate — hijacking congressional efforts to ban bump stocks and taking the issue to the conservative-leaning Supreme Court.

Taking a cue from the National Rifle Association, Trump used his executive powers to write the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives regulations.

“I went with them,” Trump said of the NRA in a 2023 CNN interview.

Like him, the biggest player in the gun lobby wanted to avoid both the new gun control law and the perception of inaction in the face of the Las Vegas massacre. Repealing the law would be more difficult than rolling back the regulation, and the legislative process is so messy that the new law could include other restrictions on firearms.

Top NRA executives said the ATF should look into whether the bump stocks comply with federal law.

“The NRA believes that devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to function as fully automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox said at the time. in a statement at the timeto stop short of the obvious conclusion that bump stocks actually do just that.

That’s exactly the language Justice Clarence Thomas used in writing Friday’s majority opinion.

“This case asks whether an accessory for a semi-automatic rifle that allows the shooter to quickly pull back the trigger (and therefore achieve a high rate of fire) turns the rifle into a ‘machine gun,'” Thomas wrote. “We think it’s not.”

Trump has not hesitated to attack the courts and their officials when he believes he is not getting his way. On Friday, he didn’t do that at all. Instead of commenting directly when the opinion was released, Trump let his campaign do the talking. A statement issued by campaign spokeswoman Caroline Leavitt preached respect for justice.

“The court has spoken and their decision should be respected,” he said, calling Trump an “outrageous advocate” for gun rights, and noting that he has the endorsement of the NRA.

Trump has followed the lead of the gun lobby, relying on the courts to ensure shooters have access to spare parts. It took seven years for this plan to come together. But it happened.

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By 37ci3

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