The Department of Justice is moving forward with the Trump administration’s plan to ban the use or sale of bump stocks, a device that allows semi-automatic firearms to fire at automatic weapon speeds.
“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 in a statement Saturday. “To that end, the Department of Justice has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a notice of a proposed regulation to clarify that the National Firearms and Gun Control Act defines ‘machine gun’ to include bump stock type devices.”
The National Rifle Association (NRA) had previously supported regulating bump stock modifications after the device was used to kill 58 people and injure scores of others during a mass shooting at a concert in Las Vegas, Nevada last October. However, it is unclear whether the powerful gun lobby will support the latest measure.
In a statement following the mass shooting, the NRA said it “believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.” The statement did not call for any legislation, however, just an ATF review of whether bump stocks comply with current law and no laws have been passed since.
Fully automatic weapons have been illegal in the United States since 1986, unless they were made before the law passed.
Following the latest mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, President Donald Trump signed an executive order instructing Sessions to essentially ban the use of bump stocks. On Saturday, Sessions followed through on the order and announced his office would add bump stocks to the list of banned devices, according to USA Today.