In a newly-signed memorandum less than a week after a teenage gunman killed 17 people inside a Florida high school not too far from President Donald Trump’s Palm Beach estate, Trump has ordered the Department of Justice to propose regulations to ban “all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns,” like bump stocks.
I would note here that the Parkland shooter last week did not use bump stocks. He did have a long history of red flags/warnings/behavioral issues, was 19 and had bought at least 10 guns (all rifles/shotguns, including the AR-15 cops say he used as well as an AK-47 variant) https://t.co/CIDtPXEvs7— Mark Berman (@markberman) February 20, 2018
“I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized — Jeff — very soon,” he added, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Trump made the announcement Tuesday, saying that the memo is the result of a DOJ review of bump stock devices that began in December in the wake of the October massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas. He added that the review evaluated whether bump stocks were, in fact, legal under current law.
But because this ban addresses the function of bump stocks — fully automatic fire — and not the devices themselves, it paves the way to ban additional devices, like trigger cranks, that achieve the same effect.
Here's Trump saying he ordered the AG to propose regulations banning devices (eg bump stocks) that turn legal weapons into machine guns pic.twitter.com/xSdkjn8Lqh— Jim Dalrymple II (@Dalrymple) February 20, 2018
After October’s mass shooting in Las Vegas — the worst in modern American history — House Majority Leader Paul Ryan sided with the NRA in advocating for a regulatory change for the devices instead of a legislative one, despite bipartisan interests in banning bump stocks.
Last fall, the NRA released a statement in support of “additional regulations” on bump stocks, trigger cranks and “devices intended to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully automatic rifles.”
That left the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to regulate bump stocks.
Several states also stepped up to ban bump stocks and or devices like bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to mimic fully automatic fire.