During an announced on Saturday, the Justice Department said it was moving forward with a new regulation which would effectively ban the use and sale of the firearm accessory known as a “bump stock.”
The regulatory review process, as Washington Examiner reports, would include the gun accessory, which increases rate of fire in a firearm, in the definition of machine gun under the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act. This new definition would outlaw the accessory as machine guns are prohibited under federal law.
“President Trump is absolutely committed to ensuring the safety and security of every American and he has directed us to propose a regulation addressing bump stocks,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, according to the report.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 10, 2018
Per Washington Examiner:
The president asked the Justice Department in February to ban the devices, which are used to speed up the rate of fire of semi-automatic firearms to resemble that of an automatic weapon.
Efforts to ban bump stocks reached a fever pitch last year after 58 people were killed in a shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas. Law enforcement officials investigating the incident found 12 firearms outfitted with bump stocks in the hotel room where gunman Stephen Paddock fired down at the festival from.
In the wake of the shooting, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle called for a ban on the devices. But the debate stalled in the weeks following the incident.
USA Today adds, “The move comes after President Trump signed an executive order that instructed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to regulate the devices, which help speed up the pace of gunfire and allow semi-automatic guns to fire at a rate that mimics a fully automatic firearm.”
Trump took on the issue after the Valentine’s Day high school shooting in Parkland, Fla., as students and gun-control advocates pressured him and other lawmakers to examine current gun laws.
He announced the order on bump stocks last month after meeting with survivors of the shooting.
“We must do more to protect our children,” Trump said, promising that school safety is a top priority of his administration.
From the Hill:
The president proposed the regulations in response to the Florida school shooting on Feb. 14 that left 17 people dead.
“Bump stocks are going to be gone,” Trump promised on Thursday.
The alleged shooter, who was recently charged with 17 counts of first-degree premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder, did not use a bump stock.
However, the gunman at the Las Vegas mass shooting — which took place last October and left 58 people dead and hundreds more wounded — did use the device during his attack.
Here’s more, via Washington Examiner:
The measure was one of several proposals lawmakers have raised as part of discussions surrounding stricter gun laws.
Until the president directed the Justice Department to regulate bump stocks last month, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives indicated it didn’t have the power to regulate the devices.
In October, the National Rifle Association called for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to examine whether bump stocks comply with federal law and suggested it is open to further regulations on the devices.
“Fully-automatic weapons have been heavily regulated since the 1930s, but banning semi-automatic firearms and accessories has been shown time and again to not prevent criminal activity and simply punishes the law-abiding for the criminal acts of others,” the NRA said in a statement last month about proposed gun control measures, Washington Examiner reports.
Similarly, some Senators are pushing legislation which would ban the bump stocks:
Sens. Jeff Flake, Martin Heinrich, and Catherine Cortez Masto have introduced a bill to prohibit the sale of bump stocks and other mechanisms which enable semi-automatic firearms to effectively operate as fully automatic weapons. pic.twitter.com/ZczX1keg0B
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 10, 2018