Today marks the first day President Donald Trump’s “bump stock” ban goes into effect.
A bump stock is a modification device that allows semi-automatic weapons to harness the recoil energy from a shot to give the firearm the ability to fire like an automatic firearm.
Under the current ban, owning, buying, selling, or transferring a bump stock is illegal, USA Today reported. Owners of bump stocks must destroy or return their bump stocks to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) with no compensation or face felony charges, reported Knox News. A violation could include a $250,000 fine in addition to a 10-year prison sentence, USA Today reported.
ATF also posted a diagram on its website to show how to properly destroy bump stocks.
“For destruction, regardless of manufacturer or model, a bump stock must be made incapable of being readily restored to its intended function by, e.g., crushing, melting or shredding the bump stock,” the ATF website said. “Bump stocks may also be destroyed by cutting, so long as the bump stock is completely severed in the areas constituting critical design features, denoted by the red lines in the specific model of bump stock destruction diagrams that follow.”
RW Arms, a leading retailer of bump stocks in Fort Worth, Texas, turned over its inventory of 60,000 bump stocks to ATF to be “shredded and recycled under the supervision of ATF agents.”
Five federal lawsuits have reportedly challenged the ban and in February, a U.S. District judge rejected challenges to the ban which argued the ban was “rushed through the administrative process,” USA Today reported.
Judge Dabney Friedrich wrote, “That this decision marked a reversal of ATF’s previous interpretation is not a basis for invalidating the rule because ATF’s current interpretation is lawful and ATF adequately explained the change in interpretation.”
The Supreme Court has declined to stop the ban so far despite requests from gun rights groups, Fox News reported. A request for the court to stop the ban is reportedly pending before Justice Sonia Sotomayor while Justice John Roberts has already declined.
Last year, in a White House event honoring law and safety officers, Trump said he ordered the Department of Justice to propose a ban on bump stocks, The Daily Wire reported.
Trump’s announcement came after the February 14, 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, but Trump’s push for the ban was initiated after the 2017 shooting in Las Vegas where 58 people were killed.
“After the deadly shooting in Las Vegas, I directed the attorney general to clarify whether certain bump stock devices like the one used in Las Vegas are illegal under current law,” Trump announced. “That process began in December, and 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.”
The Daily Wire also reported that Trump said he planned to ban bump stocks with or without the support of Congress.
“By the way, bump stocks, we’re writing that out,” Trump said at a gathering of state governors last year. “I am writing that out. I don’t care if Congress does it or not, I’m writing it out myself, ok? You put it into the machine gun category, which is what it is — it becomes essentially a machine gun …”