The Department of Justice on Saturday posted a notice of a regulatory proposal to ban bump stocks, the modification for semi-automatic weapons that permitted the Las Vegas attacker to shoot about 500 people in 10 minutes in October. The DOJ seeks to change the legal "definition of 'machinegun' in the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act [to include] bump stock type devices," which would effect a ban.
That change would also reverse an Obama-era determination of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that bump stocks do not fit the machine gun definition and thus cannot be prohibited without new legislation from Congress. Some ATF officials believe that 2010 decision was correct and the Trump administration does not have legal authority to proceed with this ban, the Chicago Tribune reports.
"President Trump is absolutely committed to ensuring the safety and security of every American," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in the DOJ notice, "and he has directed us to propose a regulation addressing bump stocks." Trump has supported a variety of new gun control measures in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, but his allies and critics alike remain uncertain about the reliability of his stance.