Trump federal bump stock ban goes into effect

A federal ban on bump stocks begins on Tuesday.

A bump stock is an attachment that allows semiautomatic rifles to fire more rapidly.

In a reversal of an earlier ruling, the Justice Department announced in December it will classify bump stocks as machine guns – which are strictly regulated – because “such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger.” The device allows a weapon to fire at nearly the rate of an automatic firearm.

A bump stock works by allowing a weapon to slide back and forth between the shoulder and trigger finger more quickly.

Gun owners were given 90 days to either surrender the devices to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) office or destroy them – a period that ended on Tuesday. The Justice Department estimated that about 520,000 bump stock devices had been purchased by consumers.

Failure to comply with the law can result in fines or prison time.

The move was prompted by public outcry over a number of mass shootings, including the Las Vegas shooting, where the gunman attached bump stocks to his rifle. More than 50 people were killed, while many more were injured.


After the Parkland, Florida, shooting, Trump ordered the Justice Department to look into regulating the devices.

Meanwhile, there are a number of court challenges protesting the law. But, for now, residents are required to comply.