According to the Associated Press, Trump shared the news Tuesday during the Public Safety Medal of Valor Awards Ceremony inside the White House. He told reporters he was moving to ban devices like the “bump stock,” an accessory that allows a semi-automatic rifles to fire more rounds at a rate similar to that of an automatic rifle. Bump stocks were reportedly used in the 2017 Las Vegas massacre that took the lives of 58 people.
BREAKING: Pres. Trump says he’s directed AG Sessions to propose regulations to “ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns” like the bump stocks used in the Las Vegas mass shooting (which were not used in last week's Florida school shooting) pic.twitter.com/q3sqcetfCV— The Last Word (@TheLastWord) February 20, 2018
“After the deadly shooting in Las Vegas, I directed the attorney general to clarify whether certain bump stock devices, like the one used in Las Vegas, are illegal under current law,” Trump said. “That process began in December, and just a few moments ago I signed a memo directing the attorney general to propose regulations that ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. I expect these regulations to be finalized, Jeff [Sessions], very soon. The key in all of these efforts, as I said in my remarks the day after the shooting, is that we cannot merely take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference; we must actually make a difference.”
In 2010, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives determined they did not have the authority to ban bump stocks on their own, as the devices are not technically “machine guns.” This past December, however, the ATF announced it was evaluating the possibility of regulating the accessories as fully automatic weapons.
Following Trump’s announcement on Tuesday, a number of lawmakers, like Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), applauded the “small, but vital step.”