Maryland’s bump stock ban remains legal despite SCOTUS ruling

17 June 2024- On Friday, the United States Supreme Court struck down a 2018 federal rule from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (“ATF”), categorizing bump-stock devices as machine guns under the National Firearms Act. Bump stocks are devices that can be added to semiautomatic guns to allow the weapons to fire rapidly at rates approaching those of automatic weapons or machine guns.   

The federal rule that was struck down today was put in place in 2018 after the deadliest mass shooting in United States history unfolded the year before at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas. The single shooter used a bump stock on his weapon to murder 60 innocent people under rapid fire. Maryland’s General Assembly also responded to the tragedy by enacting an express ban, in 2018, on bump stocks, also known as “rapid fire trigger activators.” 

Late last year, Attorney General Brown joined a coalition of 23 attorneys general in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court urging the justices to uphold the federal rule on bump stocks.   

“The United States Supreme Court’s decision today is a step backwards for common-sense gun laws,” said Attorney General Brown. “We needlessly lose innocent lives by ignoring the lethality of the weapons and gun accessories that are in our communities. I will continue fighting to eliminate gun violence and to uphold common-sense gun control.”

Today’s ruling does not impact the validity of the Maryland law banning the possession or sale of bump stocks in our state. The Office of the Attorney General continues to review the opinion issued by the high Court on Friday.