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.
Bump stocks are rifle accessories which use the inherent recoil force of the weapon to allow for rapid fire. The devices will remain on the market until the regulation is approved by the Office of Management and Budget.
Trump directed the Justice Department to make the regulatory change in February in the wake of the mass shooting at a Florida high school. The regulation side-steps the Congressional legislative process by classifying bump stocks as a machine gun banned by federal law.
The regulation is likely to face a legal challenge from the National Rifle Association, which has already filed a lawsuit against a similar bump bump-stock ban enacted in Florida on Friday.
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. The ATF found that bump stocks did not amount to a machine gun and could not be subject to federal regulations.
The Obama administration approved the sale of bump stocks in 2010. The NRA believes the devices require additional regulation and has deferred to the ATF to make the decision.
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 last year. A bid to ban the devices fizzled last year despite increased interest in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting.
Trump had indicated two days ago that the paperwork for a ban on bump stocks was nearly done.
“Bump stocks — we’re almost finished with the legal papers,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “Bump stocks are just about finished from the standpoint of getting the legal work done.”
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