Trump Administration To Officially Ban Bump Stocks, Report Says

Cheryl Sanders
December 19, 2018

Some Democrats have remained skeptical about banning bump stocks via federal regulation, instead calling on lawmakers to pass new laws that ban not only the devices, but others that can increase the fire rate of semi-automatic weapons.

Bump stocks were made notorious by the October 1, 2017, mass shooting in Las Vegas, the deadliest in U.S. history to date.

The devices will now be included under federal prohibitions for machine guns because bump stocks "allow a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger", according to the new rule.

Justice Department officials say they don't know exactly how many bump stocks are privately owned, but they estimate the number in the tens of thousands.

Instead, a regulation was signed by Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general, on Tuesday.

The Justice Department pledged to fight any legal challenge. The department plans to submit paperwork by the end of the week, and the rule banning bump stocks will go into effect 90 days from that point.

Because of this clarification, the press release stated, bump stocks are illegal to possess.

Trump ordered the Justice Department to ban the devices in March.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) had previously ruled that bump stocks did not qualify as machine guns and thus would not be regulated.

Administration officials said that the devices are not extremely common, but there are probably tens of thousands nationwide, USA media reported. Trump had promised the ban in March, saying the devices "turn legal weapons into illegal machines".

His administration, though, is sidestepping any potential debate in Congress in issuing a final rule that adds bump stocks to a definition of machine guns written 80 years ago, during the heyday of gangsters' use of "tommy guns".

The department received almost 190,000 comments on its proposal for the regulation.

"Agencies are not free to rewrite laws under the guise of "interpretation" of a statute, especially where the law's meaning is clear," said Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America. A bump stock wasn't used during that attack, but the gunman in an attack on a music festival in Las Vegas in October 2017 did use them.

The websites for the most well-known bump stock manufacturers, Bumpfire System and Slide Fire, displayed notifications on Tuesday that they had already ceased direct sales of the devices.

Other reports by iNewsToday