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Vox: Supreme Court Just Essentially Legalized Machine Guns


As Twitchy reported Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that the ATF's ban on bump stocks was unconstitutional. In short, Congress makes laws, not the ATF. Wise Latina Justice Sonya Sotomayor argued that a semiautomatic rifle fitted with a bump stock was a machine gun: "When I see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck," she argued, unsuccessfully. 


The gun control crowd's argument has been just that: adding a bump stock to a semiautomatic rifle converts it into an automatic weapon. Vox went right ahead and made it their headline:

How about that Community Note?

Readers added context they thought people might want to know

The Supreme Court did not "effectively legalize machine guns"

They ruled that the ATF exceeded its authority by classifying "bump stocks" as machineguns.  A "bump stock" does not convert semiautomatic guns into fully automatic guns, as this article claims.  

Who wrote this? Why, of course, Vox Supreme Court reporter Ian Millhiser:

The six Republican justices handed down a decision on Friday that effectively legalizes civilian ownership of automatic weapons. All three of the Court’s Democrats dissented.

A semiautomatic weapon refers to a gun that loads a bullet into the chamber or otherwise prepares itself to fire again after discharging a bullet, but that will not fire a second bullet until the shooter pulls the trigger a second time. An automatic weapon, by contrast, will fire a continuous stream of bullets.

Some courts concluded that the phrase “a single function of the trigger” should be read to mean, as one of those courts put it, “a single pull of the trigger from the perspective of the shooter.” Thus, a semiautomatic weapon equipped with a bump stock counts as a machine gun because “the shooter engages in a single pull of the trigger with her trigger finger, and that action, via the operation of the bump stock, yields a continuous stream of fire as long she keeps her finger stationary and does not release it.”


What the hell does "a single pull of the trigger from the perspective of the shooter" mean? A semiautomatic weapon remains a semiautomatic weapon with a bump stock, requiring the shooter to pull the trigger each time. It does not "effectively" legalize machine guns.

According to Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, that's 800 rounds a second.


You'd think a reporter dedicated to covering the Supreme Court would know that.

They're right, "effectively" is doing a lot of hefty lifting in this headline. It's the worst one we've seen since The Hill reported that Harrison Butker told female graduates that "their rightful place is in the kitchen."



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