Home 9 News 9 Are Machine Guns Now Legal in the United States? – Garland v. Cargill
Are Machine Guns Now Legal in the United States? – Garland v. Cargill

June 26, 2024

The Supreme Court has struck down the ATF’s rule prohibiting the production, sale, and possession of bump stocks—devices that enable semi-automatic firearms to function like machine guns. This decision puts these devices back into civilian hands, increasing the risk to public safety. Machine guns have been heavily regulated in the United States since 1934. However, on June 14, 2024, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in Garland v. Cargill, striking down the ATF’s rule banning bump stocks.

This ATF rule came in the wake of the October 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting, where a gunman used a bump stock to fire over 1,000 rounds in about 11 minutes at concert-goers during the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Sixty people were killed, and 413 were wounded by gunfire or shrapnel, marking it as the deadliest mass shooting in American history. In response to this tragedy, the ATF issued a rule to ban bump stocks. Bump stocks are devices that convert semi-automatic rifles into weapons capable of firing hundreds of rounds per minute, effectively turning them into easily obtainable machine guns.


In 2018, Maryland passed legislation banning bump stocks and other rapid trigger devices. As technology has evolved, so has Maryland’s legislation. This year, lawmakers added “switches” and “auto sears” to the list of banned devices. These devices, which can be printed on a 3D printer, also convert firearms into automatic weapons, or machine guns. The firearm industry is constantly evolving to circumvent safety restrictions, but Maryland leaders continue to fight for gun safety. State policy is a critical component of steering us toward a safer future, highlighting the importance of our work at the state level.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Cargill is reckless and shameful, showing a blatant disregard for public safety. However, it is important to note that the decision is based on the majority’s goal of smaller government, not the Second Amendment. Therefore, it does not affect our state bump stock law.