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While it may seem unfair to describe an interpretation of SCOTUS refusing to hear a gun rights case as “Anti-Gun”, the NRA-ILA goes into great detail on what exactly happened, and why the misrepresentation paints news outlets as anti-gun. Headlines like the ABC News one here paint a vivid, if bleak picture for those interested in the right to keep and bear arms, but fear not: It’s not accurate. You should read the entire NRA-ILA article at length, but we will summarize it here.
Firstly, despite headlines, the Bump Stock Ban was not “upheld” by SCOTUS. There were two separate cases challenging the ban that are relevant to this discussion: Gun Owners of America, Inc. v. Garland, and Aposhian v. Garland. In both cases, the 6th and 10th Circuit Courts respectively upheld the ATF rule making bump stocks legally “machineguns”, despite nothing about them fitting their own legal definition thereof. Upon this ruling, both petitioned to be heard by SCOTUS.
SCOTUS declined to hear (known as “denying a petition of certiorari”) either of them, but that is not the same as upholding the lower Federal Appeals Court rulings. While the average person might be forgiven for confusing this for an endorsement of the ban, reporters should know better, whether they’re anti-gun or not.
It’s also worth considering, as NRA-ILA explains in greater detail, that there is a 3rd case working its way through the 5th Circuit, that is going to be heard in front of the full court, vs a panel of judges, and it’s entirely possible SCOTUS is simply waiting to see how that pans out before deciding to hear it, if necessary. One would imagine that misrepresenting the highest court in the land should be embarrassing, but it’s possible our editors care more about such things than those at ABC.