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Justice Department files regulation to ban 'bump stocks'

Justice Department files regulation to ban 'bump stocks'

At the direction of President Donald Trump, the Justice Department took the first step in the regulatory process to ban bump stocks on Saturday, March 10, and filed a regulation to ban the devices.

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

The gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, used the modifications to increase his rate of fire, allowing him to kill 58 people at a concert in Las Vegas. The devices will remain on the market until the regulation is approved by the Office of Management and Budget.

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.

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 NRA, which donated $30m to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, has not supported an outright ban on bump stocks.

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On Saturday, the justice department submitted a proposed regulation that would prohibit the sale of the devices.

Gun manufacturers are likely to challenge any change in the current standards created in 2010 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. 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. Bump stocks are gunstocks created to make bump firing easier-that is, they allow the gunman to use the gun's recoil to press the trigger faster than a human finger can, simulating the rapid-succession fire of an automatic weapon. 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.

Americans have been wondering what, if any, concrete gun control reforms would be made in response to the horrific massacre that left 17 innocent individuals dead last month in Parkland, Florida.

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.