Ban on bump stocks comes closer to reality


The proposal still needs the approval of the Office of Management and Budget. While bump stocks effectively turn semiautomatic weapons into machine guns - which are already regulated - it is debatable whether they do so in such a way that the stocks are encompassed under existing law. In the department's current view, the notice clarifies, bump stocks are included in the legal definition of a "machinegun".

The devices help make semi-automatic weapons behave more like fully automatic ones.

Bump stocks were not used in the Florida shooting but came into the national spotlight because they were allegedly used in the Las Vegas massacre previous year.

The Justice Department submitted a proposal that would forbid the sale of bump stocks Saturday. A ban on bump stocks was part of a far-reaching school safety bill signed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican, on Friday that was immediately met with a lawsuit by the National Rifle Association.

Until Saturday's filing, however, the ATF had maintained that they do not have the power to regulate bump stocks under federal law.

The decision to classify bump stocks as a machine gun would reverse a 2010 ruling by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to Fox News.

It should be noted that the gunman in the Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School shooting did not use a bump stock to inflict the carnage during his rampage. "The law is very clear and it does not now allow ATF to regulate such accessories", Bouchard wrote.

Bump stock manufacturers could challenge the regulation as being beyond the scope of the president's authority to regulate firearms.

Rather than allowing the ATF to take the lead, several lawmakers in Congress have proposed legislative solutions for bump stocks, including both outright bans and stricter regulations on the devices.

Bump stocks, a detachable accessory that increases the rate of fire on semi-automatic rifles, gained notoriety after the Las Vegas massacre in October, the deadliest shooting in US history.

"Legislation is the only answer", she said.

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