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More than one year since the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, the Trump Administration has finally amended federal regulations to clarify that bump stocks fall within the federal definition of machine guns and are illegal under federal law.
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has fought to ban bump stocks, which turn semi-automatic weapons into the functional equivalent of automatic ones, long before the shooting in Las Vegas and has continued to do so over the past 14 months. The Brady Center also is pursuing a class action lawsuit against Slide Fire, the major manufacturer and seller of bump stocks, in a pending case on behalf of victims of the Las Vegas music festival shooting.
Brady Campaign President Kris Brown responded to the announcement.
“Just over a year ago, survivors of the Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest shooting testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the need for a federal ban on bump stocks. This clarification by the Trump Administration was long overdue and we are happy to see action finally taken to protect Americans from these destructive devices. Brady has continuously supported the Las Vegas survivors and the families of victims in demanding for a ban on these weapons of war and we will continue to do so as there is no doubt the gun lobby will challenge this ruling. The only way to ensure that bump stocks and similar devices are properly regulated is for Congress to take action. We will continue to call on Congressional leaders to do just that, to once and for all classify bump stocks as illegal machine guns.”
Below you will find a timeline on action/inaction pertaining to the regulation of bump stocks.
Bump Stock Timeline
- 6-7-10 The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) replies to a request by Slide Fire Solutions, LP for an evaluation of its bump stock technology (which it claimed would assist people with limited hand mobility to fire AR-15 style rifles). ATF determined that a bump stock was not regulated as a firearm.
- 2-27-13 Sen. Dianne Feinstein opens a Judiciary Committee hearing showing videos on the bump stock threat.
- 10-1-17 In Las Vegas, a shooter uses bump stocks to fire more than 1,100 rounds in 11 minutes, killing 58 people and injuring more than 500 others at the Route 91 Harvest music festival.
- 10-4-17 Sen. Feinstein again introduces a bill to ban the sale and possession of bump stock equipment.
- 10-6-17 Brady Center files a lawsuit against Slide Fire Solutions, LP and other bump stock manufacturers on behalf of concert-goers at the Las Vegas music festival.
- 11-8-17 Sen. Feinstein reintroduces an assault weapons bill that includes banning bump stocks and similar devices.
- 12-6-17 Las Vegas survivors Heather Gooze, Christine Caria, and Heather Sallan urge Congress to ban bump stocks in Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
- 12-26-17 ATF issues pre-rule request for comments (i.e. ANPRM) after Trump Administration directs the agency to develop a rule to ban bump stocks instead of supporting congressional action to do so.
- 1-25-18 ATF’s comment period closes, with nearly 116,000 comments received.
- 2-20-18 Days after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, FL, Trump issues Executive Memorandum to US Attorney General directing Justice Department to expedite rule-making to ban bump stocks.
- 3-24-18 ATF issues a proposed rule (i.e. NPRM) to ban bump stocks and other such devices as “machine guns.”
- 6-27-18 ATF receives nearly 36,000 comments by this close date for comments, with a majority supporting a nationwide ban on bump stocks.
- 9-17-18 Judge holds that Slide Fire Solutions, LP is immune from liability under the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, dismissing Brady’s lawsuit, but allows amended complaint to be filed.
- 10-1-18 One-year anniversary of the Las Vegas massacre; 9 states and at least 4 localities have banned bump stocks, yet the Trump Administration and Congress have done nothing at the national level to get them off the streets.
- 10-8-18 Brady and co-counsel file Plaintiffs’ amended complaint in class action against Slide Fire.
- 12-6-18 One year since the US Senate heard testimony from survivors of Las Vegas in a hearing calling for an immediate ban bump stocks and similar devices.
- 12-18-18 The Trump Administration clarifies that bump stocks and similar devices fall within the federal prohibition on machine guns and are therefore illegal under federal law.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.