Published: Sun, March 25, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Merle Christensen

Trump administration moves to ban 'bump stock' firearm attachments

Trump administration moves to ban 'bump stock' firearm attachments

Bump stocks became a nationally polarized issue after Stephen Paddock's mass shooting in Las Vegas in October 2017.

Among their demands was a ban on bump stocks.

Trump tweeted Friday: "Obama Administration legalized bump stocks". Congress voted Friday to bolster background checks for gun purchases, spend more on school safety, and let the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study gun violence, ending what was in effect a 22-year ban that was supported by the National Rifle Association.

In 2010, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives concluded that it could not regulate bump stocks since the devices could not be classified as machine guns since they do not permanently alter the trigger mechanism of a firearm.

In the wake of the Parkland school shooting, President Donald Trump promised he would act on outlawing the devices, which can be attached to semi-automatic rifles to increase the rate of fire and lethality of the weapon.

At the beginning of the tweet, President Trump noted that the Obama Administration allowed for the legal sale of bump stocks.

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Jeff Sessions, the United States attorney general, has officially proposed a rule that would effectively ban bump stocks, devices that turn semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic weapons.

"After the senseless attack in Las Vegas, this proposed rule is a critical step in our effort to reduce the threat of gun violence that is in keeping with the Constitution and the laws passed by Congress", Sessions said in a statement Friday.

Mr. Trump ordered the banning of bump stocks six days after a gunman killed 17 people, including 14 students at a high school in Parkland, Florida, while armed with an AR-15 assault rifle.

According to the notice of proposed rulemaking issued in February, if passed into law, the rule "would make clear that the term "machine gun ... includes all bump-stock-type devices that harness recoil energy to facilitate the continuous operation of a semiautomatic long gun after a single pull of the trigger".

The ATF previously ruled that the devices don't fit the legal definition of "machine guns", which are illegal under federal laws, and that it could not restrict bump stocks without a new law from Congress. Manufacturers of the devices have letters from the ATF on their web sites to reassure customers that the devices are legal.

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