The Trump administration began a conversation on gun control after the most recent school shooting. Weeks after the shooting, President Trump signed a memorandum recommending that Attorney General Jeff Sessions purpose a regulation that would effectively ban “bump stocks,” an accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire at an almost fully automatic rate.
In turn, the Justice Department took first steps Saturday on banning the manufacturing, selling, and possession of bump stocks. This monumental event could impose additional regulations on the rate of fire of guns as an unintended consequence.
“The Department of Justice has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a notice of a proposed regulation to clarify that the National Firearms and Gun Control Act defines ‘machinegun’ to include bump stock type devices,” Sessions said in a statement.
Congressional approval will be needed to pass this ban. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has already publicly acknowledged that they do not have the authority to carry out the ban without Congress.
ATF will have a busy next couple of months as they have been tasked with evaluating public perception of the purposed ban as well as obtaining analytical data.
According to The Hill, the Office of Management and Budget must review the purposed rule before anything else happens. The ban came after a school shooter in Florida killed 17 people.
The shooter did not use a bump stock, but a separate shooter in Las Vegas used the accessory to kill 58 people and injured more than 500 more. The NRA, who has come under intense scrutiny as of late, is against the ban of the accessory.
According to NPR, the organization issued a statement in wake of the purposed ban arguing: “devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
The NRA has reportedly filed a lawsuit in the wake of Florida Governor Rick Scott signing the state’s first gun control bill in over 20 years. The state raised the minimum age requirement to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, along with a litany of other changes.