Sen. Murphy says Supreme Court is readying to ‘fundamentally rewrite’ Second Amendment after bump stock ruling

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy said Sunday the Supreme Court is “readying to fundamentally rewrite the Second Amendment” after striking down a federal ban on bump stocks.

Recent gun-related rulings from the high court, Murphy told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” signal it is prepared to “take away permanently the ability of Congress to do simple things like require people to go through a background check or move forward on taking dangerous weapons like AR-15s off of the streets.”

“So I think this court is poised to make it very hard for Congress or state legislatures to be able to regulate guns and keep our communities and schools safe,” he said.

The Supreme Court’s striking down of the federal ban on bump stocks marked the latest opinion from the conservative bench rolling back firearm regulations.

Former President Donald Trump had pushed for the ban in response to a 2017 mass shooting that killed 58 people at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas. But it was successfully challenged by a Texas gun store owner who purchased two of the devices in 2018 and turned them over to the government after the prohibition before suing to get them back.

Bump stocks allow a shooter to convert a semi automatic rifle into a weapon that can fire hundreds of rounds a minute.

“This is a Republican administration that banned bump stocks. At the time, Republicans in the Senate and the House were supportive of it,” the Connecticut Democrat said Sunday. “But now that they have got a Supreme Court that seems ready to unwind the entirety of the Second Amendment and take away from Congress or the executive branch the ability to keep our communities safe, they’re once again lining up behind the gun industry.”

Murphy’s comments echo the response of gun control advocacy groups, which argued Friday that the court’s ruling will have a dangerous impact in a country constantly reeling from gun violence.

The overwhelming majority of Republicans, however, celebrated the court’s decision, arguing that they long believed the ban on bump stocks was unconstitutional. While the action was taken under the Trump administration, many Republicans argued it was the wrong move at the time.

GOP Sen. Tom Cotton told Tapper in a separate interview Sunday that the bump stock ban “treads close” to an infringement of the Second Amendment. “I would suggest before we infringe on the rights of law-abiding American citizens, we should crack down on violent crime and gang crimes,” he said.

Though the case didn’t rely on the Second Amendment, it did put the debate about guns back on the court’s docket in one of the most closely watched controversies this year. In that sense, the decision was the latest from the high court to side with gun rights groups.

Still, Murphy – who has made gun safety legislation his life’s work following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut – said “there is good news to celebrate today,” pointing to dropping urban gun homicide rates.

“We have a lot of work to do to make sure that something like Sandy Hook never happens again, that every kid gets the chance to graduate,” he said. “But we have some reason to believe that this country is starting to turn the corner and change our laws in a way that makes our kids and our families safer.”

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