News

Law & the Courts

Trump Administration to Ban Bump Stocks

A bump fire stock that attaches to a semi-automatic rifle to increase the firing rate at Good Guys Gun Shop in Orem, Utah, October 4, 2017. (George Frey/Reuters)

Acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker amended federal firearm regulations Tuesday to ban bump stocks in response to a public pressure campaign against the devices, which began after they were used to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in America’s history in Las Vegas last year.

The ban, which will take effect in March, expands the definition of illegal machine guns under federal law to include supplemental devices that increase a semi-automatic weapon’s rate of fire to mimic that of a fully-automatic firearm, according to the Associated Press.

The previously obscure bump stock device emerged at the center of the national gun control debate in October 2017 after Stephen Paddock used them to murder 58 people by firing into a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas.

Following the massacre, Paddock was found dead on the floor of his Mandalay Bay hotel room surrounded by 23 rifles, 14 of which were fitted with bump stocks to increase their rate of fire.

President Trump announced in March that his administration would ban the devices, which he argued “turn legal weapons into illegal machines.”

The new regulation overturns a 2010 determination by Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms officials that bump stocks should not be regulated in the same way as machine guns and must be outlawed through new legislation if they were to be outlawed at all.

Individuals who own bump stocks will be required to turn them over to law enforcement or destroy them when the law takes effect in March, a senior Department of Justice official told the AP.

Slide Fire Solutions, the largest bump stock manufacturer in the country, announced in April that it would no longer produce the devices.

Most Popular

Culture

What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Lessons of the Mueller Probe

Editor’s Note: The following is the written testimony submitted by Mr. McCarthy in connection with a hearing earlier today before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on the Mueller Report (specifically, the first volume of the report, which addresses Russia’s interference in the 2016 ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More
World

Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s election, and the “yellow vests” protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
White House

Sarah Sanders to Resign at End of June

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will resign from her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, President Trump announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1139263782142787585 Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, succeeded Sean ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More