By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has ordered Attorney General Jeff Sessions to craft regulations banning the use of controversial “bump stock” firearm modifications.
Trump said he wants the "critical regulations" to be finalized "very soon".
Bump stocks became a source of controversy after a lone gunman used them to unleash a torrent of gunfire on an unsuspecting concert-going crowd in Las Vegas, Nevada in October 2017, killing nearly 60 people and wounding over 850 others.
Bump stocks are currently legal gun accessories that allow semi-automatic firearms to fire in a near-automatic fashion. As the name implies, the part replaces an existing rifle stock, or the part placed against the shoulder, and uses the gun's recoil to allow the weapon to slide back and forth rapidly, allowing a shooter to fire rapidly.
Trump said he began the process to determine whether the modifications are illegal under U.S. law in December.
"Just 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," Trump said. "We can do more to protect our children. We must do more to protect our children."
Trump's directive comes less than a week after 17 people were murdered in a Florida high school by a lone gunman using a semi-automatic rifle. Unlike in Las Vegas, the 19-year-old Florida gunman suspect is not known to have used a bump stock to carry out the mass tragedy.