Bump Stocks and a Presidential Memo

The Story:

President Donald Trump issued a memorandum Tuesday, February 20, directing his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to find a way to ban firearm accessories “that turn legal weapons into machine guns.” The memo makes special reference to “bump stocks.”

The Background:

On Sunday evening, October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock, using a Las Vegas hotel room as a sniper’s nest, killed at least 59 people at a music festival and wounded hundreds more. Soon, reporters were saying that Paddock had used a “bump stock,” a device that causes a gun to rock back and forth when fired, creating a rat-a-tat machine gun like effect.

Since then, though, other shootings, which did not involve such accessories, have rather upstaged Paddock.

The Thing to Know:

Many observers believe that the President felt pressure to ‘do something’ about gun control, especially after the Stoneman Douglas school massacre on February 14, and he reacted with a bump stock memo already sitting on a metaphorical shelf.


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