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DoJ proposes banning bump stocks, like those Vegas shooter had

12 March 2018

The US Department of Justice has submitted a regulation that would ban so-called bump stocks, a type of gun modification that increases the rate of fire for semi-automatic rifles.

The step is incremental, and the Justice Department still must go through a lengthy process to make the proposed regulation a reality.

"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.

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 proposal still needs to be approved by the White House Office of Management and Budget, according to the Associated Press.

But the step is tangible evidence that the department is working toward regulating the devices.

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During a meeting with lawmakers on February 28 at the White House about school shootings, President Trump said that "we're getting rid" of "bump stocks".

The matter is more complicated than meets the eye.

The Department of Justice announced Saturday that it has initiated the process of banning bump stocks through a change in how firearms laws are interpreted by federal regulators. That would reverse a 2010 decision by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that found bump stocks did not amount to machine guns and could not be regulated unless Congress amended existing firearms law or passed a new one.

Calls mounted for a bump stock ban after the Las Vegas shooting, and the Justice Department said in December it would again review whether they can be prohibited under federal law. Bump stocks require the shooter's finger to repeatedly hit the gun's trigger to fire at a high speed, which differs from the legal definition of a machine gun as a firearm that can fire multiple shots "by a single function of the trigger".

Bump stocks were not used during the Florida shooting, but calls, led by students, for stricter gun control have been heard nationwide.

Opting for a plan the administration officials described as "pragmatic", Trump backs legislation proposed in Congress aimed at providing more data for the background check system - a database of people who are not legally allowed to buy guns.

DoJ proposes banning bump stocks, like those Vegas shooter had