Friday, 22 March 2019

Trump bans ‘bump stocks’ used in mass Las Vegas shooting

WASHINGTON: The Trump administration said it had banned the high-power gun attachments used in last year’s Las Vegas shooting that killed 58 people, giving the owners of “bump stocks” 90 days to turn in or destroy the devices and blocking owners from being able to register them.

President Donald Trump’s Republican Party typically supports gun ownership, and its members have fiercely fought off perceived threats to the US Constitution’s Second Amendment guaranteeing Americans the right to bear arms.

His administration, though, is sidestepping any potential debate in Congress in issuing a final rule on Tuesday that adds bump stocks to a definition of machine guns written 80 years ago, during the heyday of gangsters’ use of “tommy guns.” The attachments use a gun’s recoil to bump its trigger, enabling a semiautomatic weapon to fire hundreds of rounds per minute, which many say transforms the firearm into a machine gun.

The Justice Department’s regulation follows the lead of many states and retailers that imposed stricter limits on sales of guns and accessories after a deadly February shooting at a Florida high school.

The Trump administration is already bracing for a lawsuit from the National Rifle Association or other gun ownership groups.

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