Supreme Court Strikes Down Bump Stock Ban in Landmark Ruling Favoring Michael Cargill

June 14, 2024
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on bump stocks, ruling in favor of Michael Cargill, a Texas gun store owner who challenged the 2018 regulation.

The Court’s decision, which marks a significant victory for gun owners, underscores the ongoing debate over firearm accessories and Second Amendment rights.

The ruling in Garland v. Cargill nullifies the Trump administration’s regulation that classified bump stocks as machine guns under the National Firearms Act (NFA). This regulation was introduced following the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, where the shooter used bump stocks to fire rapidly, resulting in 58 deaths and over 500 injuries.

The Ruling
Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, stated that bump stocks do not transform semi-automatic rifles into machine guns because they do not allow the firearm to fire more than one shot per trigger pull automatically.

Thomas emphasized that a bump stock merely facilitates rapid trigger activation by utilizing the firearm’s recoil but does not alter the fundamental mechanics of the trigger itself.

“A semiautomatic rifle equipped with a bump stock does not fire more than one shot ‘by a single function of the trigger,'” Thomas wrote. “Each shot requires a separate trigger function, and therefore, bump stocks cannot be classified as machine guns under the NFA.”

The Dissent
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, dissented, arguing that the majority’s interpretation undermines the legislative intent to regulate firearms that can simulate automatic fire. Sotomayor stressed that bump stocks effectively enable rapid fire akin to that of machine guns, posing significant public safety risks.

“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,” Sotomayor wrote. “A bump-stock-equipped semiautomatic rifle fires ‘automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.’ Because I, like Congress, call that a machine gun, I respectfully dissent.”

Impact on Forced Reset Triggers (FRT) and Pistol Braces
This ruling has broader implications for other firearm accessory regulations, notably the forced reset trigger (FRT) ban.

Texas Gun Rights (TXGR) organization has an ongoing lawsuit against the ATF over the FRT ban. The Fifth Circuit previously granted TXGR an injunction, protecting its members from enforcement of this ban.

In a related case, Mock v. Garland, the Fifth Circuit vacated the ATF’s pistol brace rule, which classified pistols equipped with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles subject to NFA regulation.

The court ruled that the ATF exceeded its authority, aligning with the Supreme Court’s stance on bump stocks.

TXGR President Chris McNutt hailed these decisions as monumental victories for gun rights advocates. “These rulings reinforce that the ATF cannot arbitrarily redefine what constitutes a machine gun or short-barreled rifle,” McNutt said. “We will continue to fight against overreaching gun control measures in Washington, Austin, and in the courtroom.”

The Bruen Decision’s Influence
The Supreme Court’s recent decisions have been influenced by the 2022 Bruen decision, which emphasized that firearm regulations must align with the historical understanding of the Second Amendment. The Bruen ruling has set a precedent for challenging modern gun control measures that lack historical analogues.

These legal victories for gun owners signal a shift towards stricter scrutiny of federal firearm regulations. Second Amendment advocates will continue leveraging these rulings to challenge other restrictive measures, potentially reshaping the landscape of gun control in the United States.

Texas Gun Rights is actively raising funds to support their legal battles against federal and state-level gun control measures. “We need continued support to ensure that our constitutional rights are upheld,” McNutt urged. “Your donations help us mobilize gun owners and keep fighting for our freedoms.”

This Supreme Court ruling not only affirms the legality of bump stocks but also strengthens the foundation for future challenges to gun control laws, emphasizing the importance of historical context in interpreting the Second Amendment.

Press Release: ATF Smacked Down by SCOTUS for Abusing its Power

June 14, 2024

Weatherford, TX – In a pivotal decision underscoring the inviolability of the Second Amendment, the Supreme Court has rightly ruled against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in Garland v. Cargill.

This ruling decisively ends the ATF’s attempt to classify bump stocks as machine guns under the National Firearms Act, marking a significant triumph for gun rights advocates and a rebuke of federal overreach.

Justice Gorsuch, writing for the majority, asserted “It is not the role of bureaucrats to rewrite the law. The ATF’s unilateral reclassification of bump stocks as machine guns was an overreach that cannot stand.”

“Today’s ruling is a monumental victory for the Second Amendment and a stern rebuke to the ATF’s reckless overreach” said Chris McNutt, President of Texas Gun Rights. “Although we won this battle, we know the ATF’s war on gun owners is far from over. TXGR will continue fighting to rein in and ultimately abolish this tyrannical agency.”

The ruling should have positive ramifications for TXGR’s ongoing lawsuit against the ATF over their forced reset trigger ban, and serves as a resounding blow to the ongoing efforts by anti-gun factions to incrementally erode Second Amendment protections through regulatory subterfuge.

Texas Gun Rights (TXGR) was established to defend and promote the Second Amendment rights of Texans. Over the years, TXGR has mobilized over 500,000 Texans in defense of the Second Amendment and has been instrumental in passing pro-gun legislation in the state. Our mission is to make Texas a place where gun owners can thrive without burdensome regulations and to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is preserved for future generations.

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Fifth Circuit Strikes Down Pistol Brace Ban

June 13, 2024

New Orleans, LA — In a significant win for gun owners and Second Amendment advocates, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated the ATF’s pistol brace rule in the case of Mock v. Garland.

The court’s decision invalidates the ATF’s classification of pistols equipped with stabilizing braces as short-barreled rifles (SBRs) subject to the National Firearms Act (NFA). The ruling asserts that the ATF overstepped its authority in redefining these accessories, aligning with the court’s earlier injunction that safeguarded TXGR members from enforcement of the pistol brace ban.

This ruling was heavily influenced by the 2022 Bruen decision, which set a precedent that firearm regulations must be consistent with the historical understanding of the Second Amendment. The Bruen decision emphasized that any gun control measures must be deeply rooted in the nation’s history and tradition, a standard that the ATF’s pistol brace rule failed to meet.

Judge Smith, writing for the majority, highlighted that the pistol brace rule not only lacked historical precedent but also imposed undue burdens on law-abiding citizens. “The ATF’s rule arbitrarily redefines pistols equipped with stabilizing braces, infringing upon the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment,” Smith wrote. “Such regulations must be grounded in historical context, as outlined by the Supreme Court in Bruen.”

The implications of this ruling extend far beyond the specific issue of pistol braces. By reinforcing the historical standard set by Bruen, the Fifth Circuit’s decision strengthens the legal foundation for challenging other contemporary gun control measures that lack historical justification. This ruling could pave the way for further judicial scrutiny of federal and state-level firearm regulations, leading to more victories for Second Amendment advocates.

“The Fifth Circuit’s ruling reaffirms that the ATF cannot arbitrarily redefine firearms and accessories to fit its gun control agenda” stated Chris McNutt, President of Texas Gun Rights.

While the ATF is likely to appeal the ruling, the ruling primsed TXGR to win its ongoing lawsuit against the ATF. “We can’t celebrate yet. Our efforts in the courtroom are not over, and we need continued support to make sure we make it all the way past the finish line.”

Democrats Rally for Gun Control at Texas Convention

June 12, 2024
The Texas Democratic Party Convention was a full-throttle push for gun control, echoing the message, “Apathy is deadly, hopelessness is deadly.”
David Hogg, the notorious gun control activist and survivor of the 2018 Parkland, Florida high school shooting, was front and center, rallying the troops at a gun control panel.

“Democrats are no longer running from gun control. They’re running on it in most instances. We’re showing that it’s a winning issue. It’s going to take time though,” Hogg declared.

Among the attendees at the convention were prominent gun ban advocates like Beto O’Rourke and Gabby Giffords, making it clear that the Democratic platform is now firmly anchored in anti-gun rhetoric.

These politicians aren’t just advocating for gun control—they’re openly supporting outright bans on most privately owned firearms through so-called assault weapons bans.

These bans target not just rifles, as the majority of Americans believe, but also the majority of modern handguns and shotguns.

Hogg received a standing ovation from the 70 people in attendance before prancing to the photo line and participating in further discussions on gun control laws.

Highlighting legislative victories in Republican-controlled Florida, Hogg pointed to laws that raised the age for purchasing firearms and a “red flag” gun confiscation law.
“My message to Texans when it comes to passing gun laws, being from Florida where we were able to, is don’t lose hope,” Hogg urged.But let’s be clear: the narrative at the Texas Democratic Convention is a direct threat to our Second Amendment rights.

The measures promoted by Hogg, O’Rourke, and Giffords are clear steps towards gun bans and Universal Gun Registration—a slippery slope leading straight to gun confiscation.

Critics rightly argue that gun control efforts fail to address the root causes of violence and instead punish responsible gun owners.

While high-profile shootings are tragic, they overshadow the broader reality that firearms are used defensively millions of times each year in America.
In stark contrast to the Democratic convention, the Republican Party of Texas convention featured a booth operated by Texas Gun Rights, which included a photo line and meet-and-greet with Kyle Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse, who recently joined Texas Gun Rights as Outreach Director, was famously acquitted of all criminal charges in arguably the most high-profile self-defense case in American history, symbolizing the critical importance of the right to bear arms for personal protection.

The debate over gun control versus gun rights is far from over, and the upcoming elections will undoubtedly keep this issue at the forefront.

As gun control activists rally their base, pro-gun advocates must stand firm in defending the constitutional right to bear arms.
Apathy in this fight is not an option—it could indeed be deadly for our freedoms.

Biden Threatens Citizens With ‘Fighter Jets’ in Gun Control Speech

June 12, 2024

Washington, D.C. — Just hours after Hunter Biden was convicted on three counts of falsifying a federal background check form when purchasing a handgun, Joe Biden delivered a speech at Everytown for Gun Safety’s “Gun Sense University” in Washington, D.C.

Joe’s remarks echoed his familiar calls for stricter gun control measures, but this time included a controversial warning to law-abiding gun owners about the futility of opposing the government.

In his speech, Biden reiterated his stance that Americans need more than rifles to defend against a tyrannical government, suggesting they would need F-15 fighter jets instead. “If they want to take on the government if we get out of line, guess what, they need F-15s. They don’t need a rifle,” Biden said.

Biden’s remarks were in reference to his calls for an “assault weapons” ban, recalling his efforts as a senator. “It’s time, once again, to do what I did when I was senator. Ban assault weapons,” Biden said. “Who, in God’s name, needs a magazine that can hold 200 shells? Nobody. That’s right. Think about it. They’re weapons of war.”

The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban Biden referenced from his days in the Senate expired in 2004 and was found to have little impact on gun violence.

Biden also repeated his oft-cited claim that there has never been a time when citizens could own cannons, a statement that has been consistently debunked.

Historical evidence shows no restrictions on owning cannons during the Revolutionary or Civil Wars, and private ownership of cannons remains legal today.

The Supreme Court’s Heller decision further protects the ownership of firearms commonly used for lawful purposes, and the recent Bruen decision emphasized that modern regulations must align with historical traditions of gun rights.

Biden’s remarks ignore the fact that the Bill of Rights isn’t contingent upon government beliefs about what citizens “need.”

The Second Amendment enshrines the right to keep and bear arms, irrespective of government opinion. The Supreme Court’s rulings, including Heller and Bruen, reinforce that bans on commonly owned firearms are unconstitutional.

2024 Republican Party of Texas Convention Recap

June 3, 2024

Last week, Texas Gun Rights (TXGR) actively participated in the Republican Party of Texas State Convention, where we engaged with thousands of delegates and advocated for a ban on red flag laws.

At the previous convention, delegates prioritized “Defend our Gun Rights” as one of the top 8 legislative priorities. The language read, “Protect our gun rights against threats, such as red flag laws, federal, state or other restrictions, by strengthening and preserving our inalienable rights under the Second Amendment to protect our life, liberty, and property. The Texas Legislature should eliminate gun-free zones.”

Despite this clear directive, the priority has yet to be realized in Texas. Red flag laws are not banned, numerous “gun-free” zones still exist, and the Second Amendment faces relentless attacks from gun grabbers in Washington, D.C.

Though our priorities didn’t make the top 15 list this year, TXGR ensured that the issue remained at the forefront of delegates’ minds. We will continue our relentless fight in Austin to ensure that all gun control bills are shot down.

In addition to our advocacy efforts, we hosted meet-and-greets with Kyle Rittenhouse, which attracted a ton of support from delegates.

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Kyle is now joining the Texas Gun Rights team as our Outreach Director. Rittenhouse, widely known for his dedication to Second Amendment rights, brings a passionate commitment to defending and promoting gun rights across Texas.

We are thrilled to have him on our team so that we can continue to work towards making Texas a better place for gun owners. Our mission is far from over, and with your continued support, we will continue to fight to protect and defend our Second Amendment rights.

If our gallery of photos of the RPT Photo Line with Kyle Rittenhouse does not properly display on your advice, please click here visit the Google gallery.

Pro-Gun Runoff Victories!

May 29, 2024, 

The runoff elections are officially over, and pro-gun candidates secured decisive victories in 9 out of 14 races that Texas Gun Rights was monitoring.

These nine victories were secured by candidates who returned their Texas Gun Rights candidate survey with a 100% pro-gun stance, pledging their relentless support for our rights protected by the Second Amendment:

  • HD 12: Trey Wharton
  • HD 30: AJ Louderback
  • HD 33: Katrina Pierson
  • HD 44: Alan Schoolcraft
  • HD 58: Helen Kerwin
  • HD 61: Keresa Richardson
  • HD 64: Andy Hopper
  • HD 91: David Lowe
  • CD 7: Caroline Kane

Through hundreds of thousands of mailers, text messages, and emails and nearly 10,000 door knocks, Texas Gun Rights made sure gun owners knew which candidates supported a No-Compromise approach to the Second Amendment and which didn’t.

Among the standout victories: Katrina Pierson in House District 33, a TOP priority for Texas Gun Rights.

Pierson defeated incumbent Justin Holland after he voted to ban 18-20 year-olds from purchasing guns deemed “assault rifles” by anti-gun liberals, and also walking out of a committee vote to ban Red Flag gun confiscation — empowering Democrats to kill the bill!

Holland’s record also included voting to expand the flawed NICS gun registry and the Texas Gag Act, which aimed to stifle free speech and advocacy for gun rights.

Pierson will bring a tremendous breath of fresh air to the Texas House!

Other incumbents with anti-gun records who lost include Frederick Frazier, Stephanie Klick, John Kuempel, Lynn Stucky, and DeWayne Burns. 

Each of these incumbents faced strong challengers committed to protecting gun rights, and thanks to your support, those challengers prevailed.

But gun owners didn’t win everything…

The near losses of disgraced Speaker Dade Phelan (against David Covey) in the Texas House and Tony Gonzales (against Brandon Hererra) in the U.S. House sent shockwaves through the political establishment.

Phelan has a history of empowering anti-gun Democrats by appointing them to important house committees, including a de facto gun control committee that passed a gun ban and an expansion of the NICS gun registry.

Similarly, Gonzales supported the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act in Congress, expanding the NICS gun registry, funding Red Flag gun confiscation programs, and giving the ATF the perceived power to ban private firearms sales.

But after Texas Gun Rights exposed their anti-2A records, Phelan and Gonzales nearly lost their re-election campaigns.

Gonzales will now think twice before betraying gun owners again.

And while Speaker Dade Phelan retained his seat, his weakened position offers us a golden opportunity to elect a pro-gun speaker in the Texas House.

Even better, the eight victories we saw in state legislative races build upon the eighteen victories we witnessed in the March primary…

That means the 2025 legislative session is shaping up to be the most conservative and pro-gun yet!

But first, we must get past a critical November election, where George Soros and Gun Control, Inc. are flooding Texas with millions of dollars.

Now, more than ever, we need your continued support.

After spending nearly a quarter of a million dollars this election cycle, it is critical we replenish our funds to combat the anti-gun agenda in November.

So please consider chipping in today to help us continue mobilizing pro-gun Texans across the state.

Federal Judge Blocks ATF “Dealer in Firearms” Rule in Texas

May 23, 2024

In a significant win for gun rights advocates, a federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking the Biden Administration’s new “dealer in firearms” rule from taking effect in Texas.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, presiding in Amarillo, ruled in favor of the lawsuit brought forward by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, effectively halting the enforcement of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) rule, which was set to go into effect on Monday, May 20.

The controversial rule would have required many private individuals to obtain licenses and conduct background checks when selling firearms at gun shows and online, a move that gun rights groups argue infringes upon Second Amendment rights.

The restraining order also protects members of several gun rights organizations listed in the lawsuit.

“I am relieved that we were able to secure a restraining order that will prevent this illegal rule from taking effect,” Paxton said in a statement.

“This is a crucial first step in protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners in Texas and across the country,” said Chris McNutt, President of Texas Gun Rights.

The lawsuit contends that the ATF’s rule contradicts the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, a 2022 law that expanded the category of gun sellers required to obtain licenses.

Judge Kacsmaryk agreed with the plaintiffs, noting that the rule failed to provide a statutory exemption for individuals buying or selling firearms for personal protection, thus rendering the statute’s safe harbor provision ineffective for the majority of gun owners.

“The absurdity that the statute’s safe harbor provision provides no safe harbor at all for the majority of gun owners is clear,” Kacsmaryk wrote in his ruling.

While this battle continues being fought in the court, it is critical gun owners and all members of congress support H.R. 6734, introduced by Representative Andrew Clyde, which utilizes a federal mechanism to overturn this draconian and unconstitutional Biden-ATF gun registration scheme at the Congressional level.

Gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment are urged to take action by contacting their representatives in Congress.

Contact Congress Now!

The temporary restraining order is a significant win, but the battle is ongoing. This case highlights the need to rein in and ultimately abolish the ATF, an agency that many believe operates with unchecked power and an unconstitutional mandate.

And by sending TXGR’s pre-written email to Congress, gun rights supporters can help build the momentum needed to do away with the ATF’s draconian rule — regardless of the outcome in court.

As the legal and legislative battles continue, the importance of grassroots efforts cannot be overstated. Gun owners must remain vigilant and proactive, working together to push back against federal overreach and protect their constitutional rights.

 

Protect Your Second Amendment Rights in the Republican Primary Runoff!

May 17, 2024 

With early voting underway from May 20-24 and Election Day on May 28, it’s crucial for all Texans to know which candidates have committed their unwavering support for gun rights – and those who have fought against your Second Amendment (or have refused to take a strong stance.)

In recent years, we have seen an alarming rise in attempts to infringe upon our Second Amendment rights – by Democrats AND Republicans.

Whether it’s support for Biden’s gun control or the watering down of Constitutional Carry, incumbents who do not fully support the right to bear arms have posed a significant threat to our freedoms. 

Texans need representatives who will stand firm against any form of gun control and protect our constitutional rights, not compromise on them!

That’s why your participation in the runoff election is vital. Anti-gun RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) are vying for positions or another term so that they can pass laws that restrict your right to own and carry firearms. 

Your vote can make the difference in protecting our fundamental liberties here in Texas. 

Remember, a vote for true Second Amendment supporters is a vote for your rights, your freedom, and the future of gun ownership in Texas. 

To learn which candidates have pledged their unwavering commitment to protect and defend the Second Amendment in the May 28th Republican Primary Runoff, view our voter guide here! 

After Facing Backlash, Cornyn Backtracks on BSCA Support

May 15, 2024 

In the aftermath of the implementation of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), Senator John Cornyn is facing intense scrutiny from Texans and advocates for Second Amendment rights. The rule, which expands background check requirements for firearms sales, has sparked outrage among gun rights supporters, who are holding Cornyn accountable for his role in its creation.

Cornyn, who championed the BSCA in the Senate, has been under fire for his role in facilitating the ATF’s overreach. The revised definition of gun dealers under the BSCA provided the legal basis for the ATF’s expanded background check policy, a clear infringement of Second Amendment rights.

Despite his efforts to challenge the policy and distance himself from its consequences, Cornyn’s actions have not gone unnoticed by Texans. He recently vowed to file a congressional resolution of disapproval over the policy despite being one of its original sponsors. 

His betrayal of the Second Amendment cannot be forgotten. As his name continues to come up in conversations about a new Senate minority leader, make sure to send our pre-written letter to Senator Cruz opposing Cornyn’s candidacy (Cornyn is also included on the letter so he hears from his constituents on the matter.)