Exclusive: Trump administration to announce final bump stock ban

The Trump administration plans to announce the long-anticipated federal rule officially banning bump stocks ...

Posted: Nov 29, 2018 8:39 AM
Updated: Nov 29, 2018 8:39 AM

The Trump administration plans to announce the long-anticipated federal rule officially banning bump stocks in the coming days, according to US officials familiar with the matter.

Bump stocks gained national attention last year after a gunman in Las Vegas rigged his weapons with the devices to fire on concertgoers, killing 58 people. President Donald Trump vowed to outlaw the devices soon after the tragedy, and some lawmakers on Capitol Hill urged him to back a permanent legislative fix.

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But opposition from lawmakers and the National Rifle Association ultimately made a regulatory change the only realistic path forward to accomplishing the President's goal.

The devices make it easier to fire rounds from a semi-automatic weapon by harnessing the gun's recoil to "bump" the trigger faster -- an operation that caused officials at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives during the Obama administration to conclude that it's merely a gun accessory or firearm part, not subject to federal regulation.

At Trump's direction, however, the Justice Department submitted a proposed final rule earlier this year that upended the Obama-era interpretation, and concluded that bump-fire stocks, "slide-fire" devices, and devices with certain similar characteristics all fall within the prohibition on machine guns by allowing a "shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger," and therefore, they are illegal under federal law.

Under the new rule, bump stock owners would be required to destroy or surrender the devices to authorities. Members of the public will be given 90 days to turn in or otherwise discard their bump stocks, according to a source familiar with the final rule.

"Bump stocks turn semiautomatic guns into illegal machine guns. This final rule sends a clear message: Illegal guns have no place in a law-and-order society, and we will continue to vigorously enforce the law to keep these illegal weapons off the street," a senior Justice Department official told CNN Wednesday.

Republican lawmakers, who are typically opposed to federal agencies writing regulations to accomplish what Congress hasn't directly legislated, had insisted that the Justice Department and ATF write a new regulation. Whereas some Democrats, such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, have repeatedly cautioned that such a ban would likely result in lawsuits given ATF's earlier interpretation.

ATF Acting Director Thomas Brandon acknowledged in a Senate hearing this summer that he has been advised that banning bump fire stocks through executive regulation could lead to court challenges that would delay the implementation of a ban.

Trump said last month he told the NRA "bump stocks are gone," but how the group responds to the final rule remains to be seen. A spokesperson for the NRA said in October 2017 that the ATF "should review bump-fire stocks to ensure they comply with federal law," but made clear it opposed the broader gun-control legislation raised by some in Congress.

In June, Slide Fire Solutions, the Texas company that invented the bump-fire stock device and was its lead manufacturer, announced on its website that it would stop taking orders for its products and would shut down its website.

The company, however, directs buyers to RW Arms, an arms dealer also based in Texas, which appears to be selling the remainder of Slide Fire's inventory. RW Arms was advertising for bump fire stocks made by Slide Fire as recently as this week, when they offered a Cyber Monday sale on the product. Slide Fire has not responded to repeated requests for comment about any potential litigation over a federal rule banning bump stocks.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 297321

Reported Deaths: 6805
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19814231
Hinds18949395
Harrison16886282
Rankin12842265
Jackson12750234
Lee9720163
Madison9516204
Jones8035148
Forrest7289138
Lauderdale6872228
Lowndes6061140
Lamar593381
Lafayette5767114
Washington5232130
Bolivar4630124
Oktibbeha443095
Panola433698
Pearl River4212132
Warren4144115
Pontotoc411071
Marshall405995
Monroe3996129
Union397174
Neshoba3848171
Lincoln3624104
Hancock352978
Leflore3400121
Sunflower320986
Tate303974
Pike302697
Scott296171
Alcorn292763
Yazoo292066
Itawamba290675
Coahoma283069
Tippah280065
Copiah279959
Simpson277581
Prentiss271258
Marion258878
Wayne255641
Leake254172
Covington250280
Grenada248878
Adams235778
George232745
Newton232753
Winston222179
Jasper214145
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Attala206971
Chickasaw201954
Holmes182870
Clay179452
Stone173429
Tallahatchie171739
Clarke170773
Calhoun158628
Smith153833
Yalobusha145736
Greene128133
Walthall125441
Montgomery123540
Noxubee123431
Perry123235
Lawrence121421
Carroll119425
Amite112435
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102731
Tunica99824
Claiborne99030
Benton94024
Humphreys93128
Kemper91423
Quitman77514
Franklin76420
Choctaw70117
Jefferson62827
Wilkinson62727
Sharkey49217
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 499411

Reported Deaths: 10149
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson719951403
Mobile36396741
Madison32674469
Tuscaloosa24391423
Montgomery22789523
Shelby22250219
Baldwin19915289
Lee15070161
Calhoun13961296
Morgan13785255
Etowah13413327
Marshall11458215
Houston10121264
Elmore9509190
Limestone9435139
St. Clair9050228
Cullman8993183
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DeKalb8507175
Talladega7643165
Walker6600260
Jackson6551104
Autauga634492
Blount6252128
Colbert6007121
Coffee5261104
Dale4680107
Russell407534
Franklin400779
Covington3996107
Chilton3911104
Escambia379473
Tallapoosa3637143
Clarke344553
Chambers3432111
Dallas3428142
Pike292973
Marion288796
Lawrence285787
Winston258568
Bibb246058
Marengo244657
Geneva240270
Pickens225757
Barbour213851
Hale212569
Fayette202657
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178140
Monroe166739
Randolph165141
Washington157036
Macon147845
Crenshaw146755
Clay146254
Cleburne140141
Lamar133933
Lowndes133151
Wilcox123225
Bullock117736
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Perry106427
Sumter100832
Coosa90324
Greene88732
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