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US Justice Department, ATF to decide if bump stocks are prohibited

US Justice Department, ATF to decide if bump stocks are prohibited”

US Senator from California Diane Feinstein (left) with Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal delivering remarks on gun control legislation with a picture showing a bump stock, a device that simulates automatic gun fire, during a press conference in in Washington, DC, recently.

The Justice Department announced Tuesday that it has begun the process of determining whether to prohibit bum stocks - devices that were used in the Las Vegas shooting massacre that killed 58 concertgoers.

The announcement comes the day before the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is set to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the device and amid calls from legislators to prevent the future sale of the part.

The national conversation surrounding bump stocks intensified after Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock had rifles in his Mandalay Bay Resorts and Hotel room that were outfitted with the device, which allows semi-automatic weapons to act like automatic ones. The ANPRM will provide the public and industry the opportunity to submit formal comments to ATF about bump stocks to inform ATF's decision regarding further steps in the rulemaking process.

Paddock, whose motive remains a mystery, had equipped 12 of his AR-15-style assault rifles with bump stocks. They work when applied to a rifle's receiver by using the recoil effect of semi-automatic rifle fire to "bump" the gun's trigger back into the trigger finger, causing the weapon to discharge repeatedly.

Automatic weapons are illegal in the United States. ATF and the Department will proceed in accordance with this process as quickly as possible. If a device is not classified as a firearm or machinegun, it is deemed to be a part or accessory that is not subject to regulation by ATF.

Lawmakers introduced bills in Congress to ban or otherwise regulate bump stocks after 58 people were killed in the October 1 shooting in Las Vegas.



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