GOOD
Articles

The Justice Department just banned bump stocks used in the Las Vegas mass shooting.

A big loss for the NRA and a big win for common sense.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On December 18, the U.S. Department of Justice announced they are implementing the proposed ban on bump stocks, a modification that allows semi-automatic weapons to operate more like machine guns. After Congress failed to take action on a proposed bump stock ban, President Trump’s Justice Department proposed a direct agency ban. The original story continues below:


*****

Today is the anniversary of the Las Vegas mass shooting, the largest mass shooting in recorded history. It’s a painful reminder of the lethal reckoning that mass shootings continue to have across our divided nation and how our elected leaders still refuse to make even incremental progress on enacting basic, common-sense gun safety laws.

But in a Rose Garden address on Monday, President Trump offered a surprising ray of hope, telling reporters that bump stocks, like those used in the Las Vegas shooting, would officially be banned “over the next couple of weeks.”

Bump stocks were used on 12 of the firearms that ultimately killed 58 people and injured several more in the Las Vegas shooting in 2017.

The devices allow semi-automatic guns to operate more like machine guns, firing off a rapid succession of shots in a short span, effectively mimicking a fully automatic firearm.

“In order to eliminate -- terminate -- bump stocks, we have to go through procedure. We are now at the final stages of that procedure,” Trump said.

“I have told the (National Rifle Association) -- bump stocks are gone,” Trump added.

It’s that last part that is most surprising coming from Trump, an avowed supporter of gun rights who is generally opposed to any gun control legislation.

Last November, the NRA came out against legislation in the House and Senate that would have banned bump stocks.

Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Thankfully, this isn’t another decision left to the ever-changing whims of Trump. The law change is all but already in place with the Justice Department having sent a formal recommendation to the Office of Management and Budget. The OMB is finishing up its mandatory 90-day review of the change, which Trump says will be completed in “two or three weeks.”

There are still a number of basic, common-sense gun safety measures that Congress can pass if it’s willing to stand up to the influence of the NRA. Reforms like strengthening background checks and better enforcing laws that are already on the books are hugely popular with a super majority of Americans.

The irony should not be lost on anyone that it’s President Trump, a man who literally bragged about theoretically shooting someone with a gun in public during the 2016 campaign, who has helped direct the nation’s first meaningful gun control change in years. Now, it will be up to Congress to show some backbone of its own and pass measures which protect the rights of responsible gun owners while helping to keep deadly weapons away from those who would use them to illegally hurt others.