President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that the Department of Justice will move to ban bump stocks, saying they “turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns.” He also blamed former the Obama administration for allowing the gun accessories in the first place.
Obama Administration legalized bump stocks. BAD IDEA. As I promised, today the Department of Justice will issue the rule banning BUMP STOCKS with a mandated comment period. We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2018
Bump stocks, also known as bump fire stocks, make it easier to fire rounds in quick succession on a semi-automatic weapon and mimic the fire of an automatic weapon.
Under former President Barack Obama, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives considered banning the accessories but concluded doing so would require an act of Congress. It made the same conclusion following the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas.
CNN reported Friday that the Department of Justice’s proposition would amend the bureau’s regulations to make bump stocks fall under the definition of a “machine gun,” effectively banning them.
“After the senseless attack in Las Vegas, this proposed rule is a critical step in our effort to reduce the threat of gun violence that is in keeping with the Constitution and the laws passed by Congress,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.
If the rule is changed, people possessing bump stocks would be “required to surrender, destroy or otherwise render the devices permanently inoperable,” according to the Department of Justice. There is a 90-day public comment period on the rule change proposal.