While speaking during a White House ceremony earlier today President Trump announced he has directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to develop regulations surrounding “bump fire stocks”, noting the intended regulation would be an actionable step to help prevent future mass shootings.
During his remarks President Trump noted: “We cannot merely take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference, we must actually make a difference.” The decision to eliminate ‘bump-fire stocks’ is smart policy and politically.
On the policy side the regulatory move is in line with already existing rules on firearms that ban auto-fire weapons. On the political side the memorandum stops opposition from saying the President is not taking action; the regulatory memorandum reflects action taken by President Trump that was not taken by President Obama.
(From the memorandum) After the deadly mass murder in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 1, 2017, I asked my Administration to fully review how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulates bump fire stocks and similar devices.
Although the Obama Administration repeatedly concluded that particular bump stock type devices were lawful to purchase and possess, I sought further clarification of the law restricting fully automatic machineguns.
Accordingly, following established legal protocols, the Department of Justice started the process of promulgating a Federal regulation interpreting the definition of “machinegun” under Federal law to clarify whether certain bump stock type devices should be illegal. The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on December 26, 2017. Public comment concluded on January 25, 2018, with the Department of Justice receiving over 100,000 comments.
Today, I am directing the Department of Justice to dedicate all available resources to complete the review of the comments received, and, as expeditiously as possible, to propose for notice and comment a rule banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machineguns.
Although I desire swift and decisive action, I remain committed to the rule of law and to the procedures the law prescribes. Doing this the right way will ensure that the resulting regulation is workable and effective and leaves no loopholes for criminals to exploit. I would ask that you keep me regularly apprised of your progress.
You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register. ~President Donald J Trump (White House Link)