WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court declined Thursday to take up an appeal challenging a federal ban on bump stocks that went into effect Tuesday.
After the Trump administration outlawed the devices — which allow rifles to be fired rapidly — owners, dealers, and manufacturers were required to destroy them by midnight Monday or turn them into a local office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Federal authorities estimated that half a million were sold in the United States.
Gun rights groups filed two separate Supreme Court appeals. One, directed to Chief Justice John Roberts, was rejected Tuesday. A second, filed with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, was turned down Thursday after she referred it to the full court.
A lawsuit challenging the ban remains before a federal court in Washington. The two Supreme Court appeals sought a temporary halt to the ban while the lower court case was pending.
An ATF spokesman declined Thursday to say how many bump stocks were surrendered before the ban went into effect, adding that the agency “does not feel the number turned in is an accurate depiction because there were alternative methods of disposal.” However, local ATF offices around the country said very few were turned in.
An exception was in the state of Washington, where 1,000 were turned over to the state patrol. Each person surrendering a bump stock received $150 under a state buyback program.