Bump stocks finally get banned
The worst mass shooting in the history of the United States brought national attention to the bump stock.
This firearm attachment effectively transforms semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons. They were used in October 2017 in Las Vegas when a gunman slaughtered 58 people at a country music concert. Hundreds of others were injured.
The gunman fired on the crowd for more than 10 minutes from a hotel suite. Authorities found 23 assault weapons, including 14 with bump stocks, in the killer’s hotel room.
President Donald Trump had promised a ban on bump stocks, saying in March they “turn legal weapons into illegal machines.”
His administration has made good on this promise. A ban will take effect 90 days after the publication in the Federal Register. Bump stock owners either must destroy these devices or turn them over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
It’s been estimated 280,000 to 520,000 bump stocks have been sold in the United States since 2010, the Associated Press reported. It’s unclear if bump stock owners will comply with the ban, but at the least, it will keep more of these devices from circulating.
The National Rifle Association had lobbied to have existing bump stock devices grandfathered in with this ban, and Gun Owners of America has promised a lawsuit, citing Second Amendment rights.
That will be a question for the courts, but these responses miss the larger point. Elected officials have a moral and ethical responsibility to reduce and end the scourge of mass shootings in America. And a bump stock can be used to facilitate a mass shooting since it is basically a workaround for laws limiting machine guns.
This is a very narrow action, but after the slaughter in Las Vegas, it was overdue.