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Gun control: United States justice department moves to ban rapid-fire bump stocks
12 March 2018, 04:34 | Bernice Figueroa
DOJ submitted a new regulation Saturday to ban bump stocks
Trump has also backed a ban on "bump stocks", accessories that enable semi-automatic rifles to fire hundreds of rounds a minute.
The step is incremental, and the Justice Department still must go through a lengthy process to make the proposed regulation a reality.
The accessory was not used in the recent Florida school shooting, in which 17 people were killed, but it was used previous year in the deadly shooting in Las Vegas.
The president "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 the wake of the Las Vegas attack, which sparked a nationwide discussion about banning the devices, Republicans in Congress and the National Rifle Association have pointed to the ATF to regulate the devices, rather than advocating for a legislative approach.
U.S. President Donald Trump will support a modest set of fixes to gun laws, stepping back from some of the more sweeping changes he had considered after the country's latest mass school shooting, senior officials told reporters on Sunday.
The Justice Department submitted a proposal that would forbid the sale of bump stocks Saturday.
Gun manufacturers are likely to challenge any change in the current standards created in 2010 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. And in December, Sessions announced that he was initiating the process to potentially change federal regulations and would be accepting public comments through January 25.
The matter is more complicated than meets the eye. But, this new proposal would expand the definition of the term "machinegun" to include weapons modified by bump stocks.
A bump stock is an aftermarket modification a rifle owner can install that allows a semi-automatic firing mechanism to mimic rapid firing of a fully automatic machinegun.
The Justice Department's regulation would classify the hardware as a machine gun banned 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".
During a Cabinet meeting Thursday, Trump vowed that a ban on bump stocks as a legal item in the US was nearly "finished".
The president, who championed gun rights during his 2016 campaign, vowed to take action to prevent school shootings after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on February 14.
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