President Trump, Justice Department announce bump stock ban

Michael Vadon  Flickr President Donald Trump has vowed to work with Jeff Sessions to ban bump stocks

In February, Massachusetts became the first state to implement a ban on the purchase and possession of bump stocks since the Las Vegas shooting months before.

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 Trump announced that the administration plans to ban bump stocks and other devices that can modify weapons, making them more unsafe and faulting the Obama administration for the legalization. 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.

If the NPRM is made final, bump-stock-type devices would be effectively banned under federal law and current possessors of bump-stock-type devices would be required to surrender, destroy, or otherwise render the devices permanently inoperable.

Officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - a division of the Justice Department known as ATF - previously found that, since pressure must be applied to the gun from behind in addition to pulling the trigger, the devices evade a ban on machine guns under the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act.

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The Department of Justice is proposing a rule change that would effectively ban bump stocks, devices that make semi-automatic weapons fire hundreds of rounds per minute, said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In the proposed rule, the ATF says it has now concluded that the previous decision "does not reflect the best interpretation of the term "machine gun" under the law.

He tweeted on Friday that "We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons, into illegal machine guns".

The comment period for the NPRM is 90 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. Civilian ownership of machine guns has been heavily restricted under federal law since 1986.

In the wake of the Parkland school shooting, President Donald Trump promised he would act on outlawing the devices, which can be attached to semi-automatic rifles to increase the rate of fire and lethality of the weapon.

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