The Trump administration has formally proposed a complete ban on bump stocks, which effectively convert assault rifles into machine guns, on the eve of a nationwide protest for firearms control.
Bump-fire stocks and similar instruments allow semiautomatic rifles to fire more frequently by using pressure from the shooter's body to push back against the gun's recoil, quickly triggering another shot.
President Donald Trump announced on Friday that his administration will issue a new rule banning bump fire stocks, a gun accessory that makes it easier to fire rounds quickly from a semi-automatic weapon, mimicking automatic fire.
Under the banner #NeverAgain students demand stricter gun control
The proposed rule change would alter regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Previously unknown outside of gun enthusiast circles, the device received attention after it was revealed that the Las Vegas shooter used them during the rampage that killed 58 people and injured over 700.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Friday that he is proposing rule changes that will ban bump stock-type devices, which are gun attachments that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.
Trump will not in be in Washington on Saturday during the march, organized in part by students from the Parkland, Florida high school, to protest U.S. gun laws and school shootings. Among their demands was a ban on bump stocks.
Today the Department of Justice is publishing for public comment a proposed rulemaking that would define "machinegun" to include bump stock-type devices under federal law-effectively banning them. If that happens, the possession of bump stocks would be criminalized and owners of the devices would have to immediately surrender or destroy them. The new ban would classify them as machine guns under current federal law.
The comment period for the amendment is 90 days.
"As I promised, today the Department of Justice will issue the rule banning BUMP STOCKS with a mandated comment period", President Donald trump tweeted. 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.
Rick Vasquez, a former ATF official who took part in the decision to approve bump stocks, told Politifact that to blame the administration implies that Obama or his then-attorney general Eric Holder were involved in the determination.