US Justice Department seeks ban on bump stocks

by Wade Massey March 25, 2018, 1:42
US Justice Department seeks ban on bump stocks

In the Friday ruling, the Justice Department argued that rifles equipped with a bump stock should be classified as machine guns despite a previous ruling to the contrary from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

The announcement comes as thousands of people in the United States take part in the March For Our Lives protests which call for stricter gun control.

Stephen Paddock, the gunman who killed 58 people and wounded hundreds of others at a Las Vegas country music festival, had at least 12 rifles with bump stocks, according to law enforcement officials.

ATF officials concluded that bump stocks did not fall under the law because they did not permanently alter a gun's trigger mechanism. The rules would be amended so that bump stock-type devices would be defined as a "machine gun" under federal law. Those decisions did not include extensive legal analysis relating to the definition of "machinegun.' Nonetheless, they indicated that semiautomatic firearms modified with these bump-stock-type devices did not fire 'automatically, ' and were thus not 'machineguns, ' because the devices did not rely on internal springs or similar mechanical parts to channel recoil energy".

That call for stricter gun control has not died down since then, leading to Saturday's rallies across the USA and around the world in which thousands of people take part in the March for Our Lives rally.

President Donald Trump announced on Friday that his administration will issue a new rule banning bump fire stocks, a gun accessory that makes it easier to fire rounds quickly from a semi-automatic weapon, mimicking automatic fire.

Trump signed an order on February 20, less than a week after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, directing the Justice Department to make the change. Now under the law, automatic weapons made after 1986 are illegal under the Firearm Owners' Protection Act, meaning new automatic weapons for civilian use can not be manufactured.

The announcement comes a day before large numbers of protesters are expected to descend on Washington, DC for "March for Our Lives", a rally organized to push for stricter gun laws in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida last month.

They are also calling for a bipartisan effort to ramp up gun control and demanding "a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues". The shooting has sparked yet another national conversation on the issue of gun control.

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