WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has directed his attorney general to propose regulations that would ban bump stocks and similar devices “that turn legal weapons into machine guns,” the president announced Tuesday.
Trump, speaking at the start of a Medal of Valor ceremony at the White House, said he expected the “critical” new regulations to be finalized soon.
A Justice Department review of bump stock regulations started in December, Trump said, after America’s deadliest mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 people dead. The gunman in that incident used bump stocks that allowed him to engage his weapon’s trigger faster, making it fire similar to the rate of an automatic weapon.
Regulations on bump stocks has garnered recent support from both sides of the gun control debate, but Trump’s move goes further than the tepid support his administration had offered for the move last year.
The steps proposed by the president Tuesday would not have affected the attack at a high school in Parkland, Fla., less than one week ago that left 17 students and teachers dead.
The White House will hold listening sessions with parents, teachers, and students from Parkland, as well as others affected by school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and Columbine, Colo., on Wednesday.
Just before the Trump’s announcement, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also reiterated the president’s openness to making the background check process “more efficient.”
Though Trump will be listening at Wednesday’s sessions, he hasn’t signaled any openness to the introduction of new gun control measures – nor has he mentioned that possibility in his remarks on gun violence in the aftermath of Parkland.
On Tuesday, he again cited a need for officials to do more on “mental health” and bettering coordination efforts for “swift action” when there are known warning signs that may signal potential shooters.