Trump Administration Takes Action on Gun Control, Proposes Rule to Ban Bump Stocks

The Trump administration took its first steps to ban bump stocks on guns through regulatory action Saturday morning.

The Department of Justice submitted notice of proposed regulation to clarify the meaning of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act includes bump stock devices, and that federal law, therefore, prohibits their possession, sale, or manufacture.

"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,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement.

Bump stocks are molded to the bottom of riffles and allow shooters to release dozens of bullets in a matter of seconds by “bumping” the weapon’s trigger.

Sessions said he would go ahead with the rule despite protests from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, it claims that it does not have the authority to enforce the rule, only Congress does.

GettyImages-858367070 President Trump has proposed a rule banning bump stocks on guns. Getty Images

Once approved, the rule will be open to public comment for a period of time, typically between 30 and 60 days. That comment is then considered in the final draft of the proposal and once approved becomes a rule the Department of Justice governs by.

The proposed rule change is a response to the Parkland High School shooting on February 14th that left 17 dead. “Bump stocks are going to be gone,” the president promised in its aftermath.

While the Parkland shooter did not use bump stocks, the gunman at last October’s Las Vegas shooting, who killed 58 people, did.

After the Las Vegas shooting there was a bipartisan call for Congress to ban bump stocks, but Congress failed to act on the issue. House Speaker Paul Ryan instead called for a rule made by the Department of Justice.

The proposed change is a response to a national debate over gun safety and control triggered by the teenaged survivors of the Parkland shooting. Walmart, LL Bean and Kroger’s have all raised the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 in response of the advocacy, and Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would no longer sell assault weapons.

On Friday, Florida Governor signed a bill into law banning the sale of guns to those under 21 and banning bump stocks. The state was immediately sued by the National Rifle Association, who claim the law violates the second and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.