Trump administration proposes ban on bump stocks

A device called a bump stock is attached to a semi-automatic rifle at the Gun Vault store and shooting range in South Jordan Utah in this Oct. 4 2017 file
Trump administration takes first step to ban bump stocks — the deadly device used in Las Vegas shooting

12 March, 2018

A bid to ban the accessory fizzled previous year, even as lawmakers expressed openness to the idea after almost 60 people were gunned down in Las Vegas.

The Trump administration is proposing banning bump stocks, which allow semiautomatic weapons to fire bullets rapidly like an automatic weapon.

"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", said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The decision to classify bump stocks as a machine gun would reverse a 2010 ruling by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to Fox News.

A "bump stock" is attached to a semi-automatic rifle at the Gun Vault store and shooting range in South Jordan, Utah on October 4, 2017.

The suggested regulation would redefine machine guns under the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act to include firearms with bump stock modifications, which increase the firing rate of rifles.

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Bump stocks were heavily criticised last October after one of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history.

The discussion again gained momentum after a gunman opened fire on a Florida high school last month, killing 17 people.

The president, who championed gun rights during his 2016 campaign, vowed to take action to prevent school shootings after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on February 14.

After the Parkland shooting, Trump announced his support for a ban on the devices.

More contentious proposals, such as raising the minimum age for buying guns to 21 from 18, or requiring background checks for guns bought at gun shows or on the internet, will be studied by a commission headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the officials said. Gun control advocates have long called for such a ban, but so far have not had any success.

The bill did not outright ban the sales of AR-15 style assault rifles, which are often used in mass shootings, including both the Florida and Las Vegas shootings.

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