Published: Mon, March 12, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

The US Justice Department just proposed banning rapid-fire 'bump stocks'

The US Justice Department just proposed banning rapid-fire 'bump stocks'

This would mean the possession, sale and manufacture of the devices are prohibited under federal law, which largely bans automatic weapons. A bid to ban the accessory fizzled a year ago, even as lawmakers expressed openness to the idea after almost 60 people were gunned down in Las Vegas.

In a notice submitted to the Office of Management and Budget, the DOJ recommended the definition of "machine gun" in the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act be expanded to include bump stock type devices.

The move was expected after President Donald Trump ordered the Justice Department to work toward a ban following the shooting deaths of 17 people at a Florida high school in February.

The law defines a machine gun as a weapon that fires more than one shot with "a single function of the trigger".

During a Cabinet meeting Thursday, Trump vowed that a ban on bump stocks as a legal item in the USA was nearly "finished". However, semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 are legal due to their lower rate of fire.

But his initial enthusiasm for restrictions was not shared by many of his fellow Republicans in Congress, wary of measures that could be viewed by some voters as infringing on their constitutional right to own guns, particularly leading up to the November congressional elections.

The Justice Department officially submitted a notice of a proposed regulation with the Office of Management and Budget Saturday concerning bump stocks, accessories attached to semi-automatic weapons that enable them to mimic the functionality of automatic firearms.

Bump stocks were heavily criticised last October after one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.

"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", Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.

It only took yet another highly publicized school shooting to galvanize the Trump administration into action regarding gun control laws in America.

On Thursday, state legislators in Florida passed a bill that, among other things, banned bump stocks on a state level.

More contentious proposals, such as raising the minimum age for buying guns to 21 from 18, or requiring background checks for guns bought at gun shows or on the internet, will be studied by a commission headed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the officials said.

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