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

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 350070

Reported Deaths: 7590
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24512449
DeSoto23513283
Harrison21172335
Rankin15798293
Jackson15735254
Madison11171227
Lee10903180
Jones9223169
Forrest9027163
Lauderdale8087244
Lamar724890
Lowndes7199152
Lafayette6631125
Washington5661140
Pearl River5357154
Oktibbeha503198
Bolivar5004134
Warren4817128
Panola4812112
Marshall4739106
Pontotoc452473
Hancock440388
Neshoba4401181
Union438979
Monroe4369138
Lincoln4228116
Pike3739114
Leflore3676125
Alcorn355374
Tate354988
Sunflower351094
Adams347490
Scott346677
Yazoo342977
Copiah330869
Simpson327191
Itawamba317281
Coahoma315685
Tippah312869
Prentiss302563
Covington302384
Marion289882
Leake288676
Wayne280945
George277351
Grenada272188
Newton266864
Tishomingo240770
Winston238084
Stone235338
Jasper234748
Attala228674
Chickasaw221460
Holmes202574
Clay201954
Clarke189580
Tallahatchie185642
Calhoun183232
Smith183036
Yalobusha173641
Walthall150449
Lawrence145426
Greene141935
Amite139144
Noxubee137235
Perry136138
Montgomery133944
Carroll127031
Webster124332
Jefferson Davis119834
Tunica116127
Benton107825
Claiborne105931
Kemper104429
Humphreys102333
Franklin88424
Quitman86319
Choctaw83119
Wilkinson79332
Jefferson72228
Sharkey51918
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 592417

Reported Deaths: 11542
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson861091591
Mobile49771865
Madison37714533
Shelby27501259
Tuscaloosa27344465
Montgomery26343628
Baldwin25860329
Lee17336181
Calhoun15498334
Morgan15225291
Etowah15060370
Marshall13198236
Houston12191293
Elmore10977219
St. Clair10852252
Limestone10816158
Cullman10610206
Lauderdale10305254
DeKalb9594192
Talladega9005188
Walker7840288
Autauga7615114
Jackson7431117
Blount7417139
Colbert6752142
Coffee6443132
Dale5723117
Russell482243
Chilton4810117
Covington4804125
Franklin462781
Tallapoosa4571156
Escambia451083
Chambers3987125
Dallas3751163
Clarke372263
Marion3470107
Pike334079
Lawrence3277100
Winston300773
Bibb292865
Geneva288383
Marengo262967
Barbour253761
Pickens247762
Butler242472
Hale236778
Fayette228165
Henry216545
Monroe204541
Randolph202844
Cherokee200748
Washington186839
Macon171552
Crenshaw170658
Clay167159
Cleburne161845
Lamar151938
Lowndes146255
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh122132
Coosa119529
Perry111228
Sumter110633
Greene99337
Choctaw64425
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