In a newly-signed memorandum less than a week after a teenage gunman killed 17 people inside a Florida high school, President Donald Trump has ordered the Justice Department to propose regulations to ban “all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns.”
“I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized — Jeff — very soon,” he added, referring to the Attorney General of the United States by his first name, “Jeff.”
Trump made the announcement today, saying that the memo is the result of a Justice Department 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 began to evaluate 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.
After October’s mass shooting in Las Vegas — one of the worst in 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 interest 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.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.