Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Pres. Trump tells Justice Department to ban bump stocks

Pres. Trump tells Justice Department to ban bump stocks

US President Donald Trump has said that his administration would take steps to outlaw an accessory that enables a rifle to shoot hundreds of rounds a minute.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders says President Trump supports improvements to background checks, though a statement offers no specifics and says discussions are ongoing.

Calls to ban bump stocks have been mounting since Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock used them to kill 58 concert goers in October 2017, in the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history.

"After the deadly shooting in Las Vegas [in 2017] I directed the Attorney General to clarify whether certain bump stock devices, like the one used in Las Vegas, are illegal under current law".

A large majority of Americans- 77 percent- say better mental health screenings and treatments could have prevented accused gunman Nikolas Cruz from allegedly opening fire at the high school last week.

Trump made the announcement Tuesday, saying that the memo is the result of a DOJ review of bump stock devices that began in December in the wake of the October massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.

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"I expect that these critical regulations will be finalised very soon", Trump said at a White House event, according to BBC.

High school students gathered outside of the White House on February 19 for a peaceful protest about gun control five days after the devastating school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The legislation aims to put more pressure on federal agencies to report relevant information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and also includes measures to reward states that comply with the system through federal grants.

The legislation does not add new restrictions on gun purchases.

Last November, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill to ban bump stocks, trigger cranks and other devices that can speed up a semi-automatic rifle's rate of fire. On Friday night, he visited the hospital where some of those injured in the shooting are recovering, and spoke with local members of law enforcement who intervened. The White House has so far only stated support for a bill that would seek to improve the national background check system.

Students are planning a "March For Our Lives" in Washington on March 24 to call attention to school safety and ask lawmakers to enact gun control.

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