Trump administration bans bump stocks

The Trump administration is issuing a final rule that bans bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire much more rapidly, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Tuesday.

The rule comes almost a year after President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer Joint Chiefs chairman: 'The last thing in the world we need right now is a war with Iran' Pence: 'We're not convinced' downing of drone was 'authorized at the highest levels' Trump: Bolton would take on the whole world at one time MORE ordered the DOJ to take action after multiple mass shootings.

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Gun owners with bump stocks have 90 days after the final rule is published in the Federal Register to destroy their devices or turn them in at the nearest Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) office.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker called Trump a law-and-order president and touted the “millions of dollars in funding for law enforcement officers in our schools” he signed into law.

“We are faithfully following President Trump’s leadership by making clear that bump stocks, which turn semiautomatics into machine guns, are illegal, and we will continue to take illegal guns off of our streets,” he said.

The rule clarifies the regulatory definition of "machinegun" to include bump-stock-type devices, subjecting them to the restrictions imposed by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968.

ATF said it received more than 186,000 public comments, of which 119,264 were in support of the rule. Of those backing the ban, 25,135 commenters said bump stock devices have no place in civil society and are unnecessary for ordinary people to own.

The agency estimates it will cost retailers $312.1 million over 10 years to destroy all existing bump-stock-type devices, including unsellable inventory.

The ATF said the rule will increase public safety.

Trump’s call for the ban came days after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla. While there are no reports that a bump stock was used in that attack, police said one was used when almost 60 people were killed and more than 500 wounded in a mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas in October 2017.

Whitaker, whose appointment as acting attorney general is being challenged in court, signed the final rule.

Updated at 1:31 p.m.