Trump orders Justice Dept. to ban bump stocks

ANI | Updated: Mar 24, 2018 05:04 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Mar 24 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the Department of Justice (DOJ) to issue a new rule banning the use of bump stocks.

In a tweet, President Trump announced that he was directing DOJ to reverse a 2010 decision by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that classified bump stocks as firearm parts so the devices could be banned under current laws that prohibit owning fully automatic weapons, The Hill reported.

Further, he blamed the Obama administration for the legalisation of bump stocks.

"Obama Administration legalized bump stocks. BAD IDEA. As I promised, today the Department of Justice will issue the rule banning BUMP STOCKS with a mandated comment period. We will BAN all devices that turn legal weapons into illegal machine guns," President Trump wrote on Twitter.

The decision comes after a letter was sent by the Republican senators in October last year urging the administration to review the decision after a mass shooter used the device in killing 58 people at a country music concert in Las Vegas.

It was the deadliest attack to ever take place on US soil, since the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

Bump stocks are generally used to modify semi-automatic weapons so that they can fire more rapidly.

"Unfortunately, we are all now keenly aware of how this device operates and believe that this renewed review and determination will keep our citizens safe and ensure that federal law is enforced," the nine Republicans wrote last year.

In the US, fully automatic weapons have been banned since 1986, but bump stocks were described by the ATF in 2010 as "a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm under the Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act."

Last month, President Trump recommended a ban on 'bump stocks' gun devices and directed his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions to make the proposed changes in the country's gun control law, in the wake of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people and injured 17 others.

19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former student, claimed responsibility for the shooting and was expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons. He has been booked on 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Following this, massive protests were held by students across the US to pressurise the Trump administration for tougher gun measures.

Last week, students from more than 3,000 schools took to the streets from Washington to Los Angeles and from New York to Parkland on National Walkout Day to call for action against gun violence.

Organized by Empower, the youth arm of the Women's March movement, the walkouts are the latest show of activism by young people who are now wading into the gun-control debate. (ANI)