Americas

US bans bump stock devices for firearms

Current owners to have 90-day window to destroy or turn in firearm components

Michael Hernandez   | 18.12.2018
US bans bump stock devices for firearms (File Photo) Customers shop at Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly, Va., USA on January 9, 2015. ( AA - Samuel Corum )

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON

The U.S. formally banned bump stocks on Tuesday, more than a year after a gunman used them to kill nearly 60 people in Las Vegas.

The Justice Department formally issued its new rule banning the firearm components that allow a semiautomatic firearm to be fired at a rate similar to that of a fully automatic weapon -- 10 months after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate how they could be outlawed.

While their sale has been banned, individuals who already own bump stocks have a 90-day window from the day the rule is officially entered into the federal register to either destroy them or turn them into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

"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," Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, who has succeeded Sessions after a falling out, said in a statement.

Whitaker signed the rule, which classifies bump stocks as illegal machine guns, earlier Tuesday.

The National Rifle Association, which fights any effort to curtail gun rights in the U.S., has yet to comment on the new rule.

Bump stocks became a flashpoint issue in the nation’s gun control debate after Stephen Paddock used them to shoot down on concertgoers in Las Vegas from his hotel room, killing dozens before fatally shooting himself as law enforcement drew in.

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