President Trump announced Tuesday that he is directing the Justice Department to propose a ban for bump stock firearm modifications, which he said "turn legal weapons into machine guns." Bump stocks were a hot topic of debate after the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, in which the modification — which essentially makes semiautomatic firearms operate as though they were fully automatic — was used to kill 58 people and injure hundreds of others.
Trump's order comes the week after the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed by a teenager with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. The shooter, Nikolas Cruz, did not appear to use a bump stock during his rampage, the Miami Herald reports:
Sound recordings from inside the school Wednesday indicated that the weapon in question was on a semiautomatic setting, according to [weapons expert Frank] Smyth, who heard about 12 shots in a video posted to Twitter. "He was not using a bump stock," said Smyth. "With a semiautomatic you squeeze the trigger and it automatically reloads." [Miami Herald]
Additionally, the Justice Department determined in December that it likely does not have the ability to regulate bump stocks "without congressional action," The New York Times reports.