The Department of Justice has announced it is seeking to reclassify rifles fitted with bump stocks as ‘machine guns’. This would see the wording of the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act amended to include ‘bump stock type devices’.
The decision comes in the wake of the shootings in Las Vegas and Florida (although the FL shooter did not have a bump stock). Over the past couple of months a number of prominent bodies including the NSSF, SAAMI and the NRA have signalled their acceptance of the need to review the law.
The Department of Justice is acting on a memorandum signed by the President in February directing the department to make a regulatory change to the law regarding bump stocks.
Here is the Department of Justice’s full statement:
Today the Department of Justice submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a notice of a proposed regulation to clarify that the definition of “machinegun” in the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act includes bump stock type devices, and that federal law accordingly prohibits the possession, sale, or manufacture of such devices.
“President Trump is absolutely committed to ensuring the safety and security of every American and he has directed us to propose a regulation addressing bump stocks,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “To that end, the Department of Justice has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a notice of a proposed regulation to clarify that the National Firearms and Gun Control Act defines ‘machinegun’ to include bump stock type devices.”
This submission is a formal requirement of the regulatory review process. Once approved by the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Justice will seek to publish this notice as expeditiously as possible.
The move would overrule any previous rulings made by the ATF. While the change to the law still needs to be reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget, the change will not be voted on by Congress. The exact wording of the changes to the law have not yet been released and the status of bump stocks already owned is unclear.
You can find the full statement on the Department of Justice’s website, here.