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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Justice Department Bans Bump Stocks, Classifies Them as Machine Guns

The Trump administration has banned the use of bump stocks, saying that the high-power gun attachments fall within the definition of illegal machine guns. The Justice Department, after reviewing more than 186,000 public comments on the matter, announced Tuesday that the classification within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has since been amended.

“President Donald Trump is a law-and-order president, who has signed into law millions of dollars in funding for law enforcement officers in our schools, and under his strong leadership, the Department of Justice has prosecuted more gun criminals than ever before as we target violent criminals,” Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said. “We are faithfully following President Trump’s leadership by making clear that bump stocks, which turn semi-automatics into machine guns, are illegal, and we will continue to take illegal guns off of our streets.”

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The move has received no opposition from the National Rifle Association, which announced  its support for further regulations on bump stocks after Stephen Paddock used a bump stock on one of his weapons to kill 59 people and injured hundreds in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017.

Gun Owners of America Executive Director Erich Pratt pledged that his organization would file a lawsuit against the Department of Justice on the assertion that the government is violating the Second Amendment.  

“I want to assure you that Gun Owners of America is now in the final stages of preparing a lawsuit against the ATF and the Department of Justice to seek an injunction protecting gun owners from these unconstitutional regulations. We will be filing our lawsuit very, very soon,” Pratt said. “As written, this case has important Second Amendment implications for gun owners. After all, in the coming days, an estimated half a million bump stock owners will have the difficult decision of either destroying or surrendering their valuable property — or else risk felony prosecution.” 

Slide Fire Solutions, which holds the patent for bump stocks, stopped manufacturing and selling the product in April. The company sold its remaining stock to firearms retailer RW Arms. 

James Cullum
Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade to newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the power in Washington, D.C.

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