WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he has ordered steps taken to implement a ban on “bump stocks” and other devices capable of transforming legal firearms into automatic weapons.
The man who killed 58 people and wounded nearly 500 others last October in Las Vegas used a bump stock that allowed him to fire nine rounds a second.
“After the deadly shooting in Las Vegas, I told the attorney general to clarify whether certain bump stock devices like the one used in Las Vegas are illegal under current law,” Trump said during a ceremony at the White House to honor law enforcement officers.
“That process began in September. A few moments ago, I signed a memorandum directing the attorney general to propose regulations to ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns. I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized very soon,” the president said.
Trump announced the move less than a week after 17 people were gunned down at a high school in Parkland, Florida, by an assailant armed with an AR-15 assault rifle.
On Monday, the Republican president gave his blessing to a bipartisan Senate bill to improve the national background-check system aimed at preventing known criminals from buying guns.
Trump, a National Rifle Association ally who avoided talking about gun control following any of the mass shootings that took place during his first year in office, seems to be taking a different approach in the wake of the Parkland massacre.
The president plans to meet Wednesday at the White House with students and teachers from Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and other educational institutions that have suffered mass shootings, including Colorado’s Columbine High School and Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary.