President Trump backs ban on bump stock devices

Mariah Partin, Staff Writer


Following an incredibly emotional several days after another school shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Flor., President Trump has addressed the debate on gun control. After a number of shootings in 2017 and 2018, including at a church in Texas, the tragic attack at a country music festival in Las Vegas, and now this Florida high school shooting, some people have demanded the president make a change.

After the devastating incident in Florida, dozens of teenage students went to the White House to express their frustration, anger and hope for increased gun control in the United States. With students coming out and voicing their fear of simply attending school, it has encouraged even more of a conversation on gun control and pressured the White House, who are holding sessions to listen to victims and parents of those involved at past school shootings. The shooting in Parkland took the lives of 17 people, including students and staff. The assistant football coach Aaron Feis, was killed when shielding students from oncoming bullets. Other victims ranged from new freshmen to seniors preparing to go to college.

After hearing from some students and other victims of shootings, including those affected by Sandy Hook and Columbine, President Trump moved to regulate bump stock devices. In February last month, he signed a memorandum recommending Attorney General Jeff Sessions propose regulations to make bump stocks illegal, as they turn legal semi-automatic weapons into illegal machine guns. Bump stocks are devices that can enable a gun to trigger faster, making it fire similar to the rate of an automatic weapon.  

The gunman that killed 58 people in Las Vegas last year used a bump stock that allowed him to engage his weapon’s trigger faster. According to NBC, President Trump stated that a Justice Department review of bump stock regulations started in December after the Las Vegas shooting. Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman from the National Rifle Association (NRA), said that the NRA has not judged on the President’s action yet as no rule has been officially published, however she stated that banning semi-automatic firearms and accessories has not shown to prevent criminal activity.

Another issue raised by NBC news reports that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has taken the position that bump stocks are not regulated under the Gun Control Act or National Firearms Act, therefore they do not have the authority to regulate firearm parts.  This could cause problems with the president trying to enforce bump stock regulations. There has yet to be word on more legislation regarding gun control, but according to ABC news, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, commented that the door has not been closed on the gun control conversation. So far, there have only been reports of a bill to seek to improve the national background check system. Given the number of recent shootings, many are divided, moved to have a conversation on gun control and find that regulating bump stocks is not enough, while others are concerned about President Trump enacting gun control regulations.  

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