By Miriam Raftery, East County Magazine
February 20, 2018 (Washington D.C.) – Last October, a shooter at a Las Vegas concert massacred 58 people and injured 851 more. He used a bump stock to alter a legal weapon to mimic an automatic weapon.
In December, President Donald Trump asked the Justice Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to review federal regulations on bump stock devices. The comment period closed in late January.
Today, Trump announced, “I signed a memo directing the Attorney General to propose regulations that ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns,” CNN reports.
Speaking on the Senate Floor on February 16th, California Senator Dianne Feinstein decried the Senate’s inaction on bump stocks as well as other proposed reforms such as broader background checks and reinstating the assault weapons ban.
“This isn’t going to stop…and we become culpable when we do nothing,” Feinstein states, video on her website shows.
She urged the Senate to pass bump stock legislation, stating, “Nobody wants automatic weapons on our streets.”
Now, it appears, President Trump may take action on bump stocks through executive action, whether or not Congress moves forward.
The Firearms Policy Coalition,or FPC, a gun rights group, denounced Trump's announced action as "executive fiat." In a press release, the group states, "Today’s order makes clear that the Trump Administration will leave FPC and law-abiding gun owners no choice but to seek a judicial remedy."
Moreover, the statement continues, "If the Republican-held House and Senate, and President Donald Trump, choose to act on new gun control over the pro-gun rights legislation that the American people were promised in 2016, they will have shown the voters that neither major political party cares about their rights or the Constitution—and that the only real, civil option left is a new constitutional amendment.."
A Constitutional amendment to expand gun rights in the current climate seems unlikely, however, given recent polls show more than two-thirds of Americans favor at least some restrictions on guns, such as broader background checks.
Another proposal is to raise the age limit for buying assault rifles to 21 nationwide. Ironically, in most states, the age limit to buy a handgun is 21, but assault rifles such as the AR-15 can be purchased at 18 years of age.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, asked if the President might support raising the federal age limit to buy assault weapons, replied, “I think that’s certainly something that’s on the table for us to discuss,” CNN reports.