Justice Dept. takes another step toward regulation of bump stocks

Mar 12, 2018, 04:33
Justice Dept. takes another step toward regulation of bump stocks

On Saturday, the Department of Justice formally submitted a regulation to ban bump stocks that would not need congressional approval. The devices will remain on the market until the regulation is approved by the Office of Management and Budget.

Bump stocks use the recoil of the semi-automatic rifle to allow the weapon to fire at a higher rate, effectively turning a semi-automatic into a machine gun.

The Department of Justice announced Saturday that it has initiated the process of banning bump stocks through a change in how firearms laws are interpreted by federal regulators.

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"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.

"Bump stocks are just about finished, from the standpoint of getting the legal work done", he said.

The relatively cheap add-ons became a major gun control issue after the Los Vegas shooter used bump stocks to upgrade his semi-automatic weapons during the October 2017 massacre of 58 concert attendees.

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But the step is tangible evidence that the department is working toward regulating the devices. The shooter placed bump stocks on several of the rifles he used in the attack, though it is not clear how numerous more than 1,000 rounds he fired came from those guns.

"These accessories DO NOT cause the firearm to shoot more than one shot by the single function of a trigger pull. The law is very clear and it does not now allow ATF to regulate such accessories", Bouchard wrote. Those who want to see the devices regulated say legislation would be a far easier and more effective way to ban them, as a change in regulation is surely to be met with legal challenges from manufacturers.

The attachments are illegal in Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and have been banned in California since 1990. The NRA believes the devices require additional regulation and has deferred to the ATF to make the decision.

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That new definition would then outlaw the possession, sale or manufacture of bump stocks, which were used in the fatal Las Vegas shooting last fall that killed 58 people attending a country music festival. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a sponsor of federal proposed bump stock legislation, said in a February statement.

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