President Donald Trump has moved to ban bump stocks, the controversial device that turns semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic weapons capable of firing hundreds of rounds a minute.
Paddock had 12 bump stocks which he attached to his legal semi-automatic guns to dramatically increase their rate of fire. The bump stocks could be bought legally for as little as $100.
Mr Trump announced an intention to ban them days after another mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, the Florida gunman, used an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, although not a bump stock.
Mr Trump said that, after the Las Vegas shooting, he had directed Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General, to clarify whether certain bump stock devices like the one used by Paddock were illegal under current law. That process began in December.
During a ceremony at the White House for members of the emergency services, Mr Trump said: “We can do more to protect our children. We must do more to protect our children.
“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. I expect these critical regulations will be finalised very soon.
“The key in all these efforts is we cannot merely take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make a difference.”
He added that security measures must be taken that “actually work”.
Mr Trump praised the student survivors of Parkland who have emerged in recent days as a powerful voice seeking gun control measures.
The president said: “In the aftermath of this evil massacre our souls have been lifted by the stories of bravery. They have shown us the forces of love and courage are always stronger than the forces of evil and hate.”
White House officials said the president would be meeting with students, teachers and local officials from Parkland to discuss ways of providing more school safety and addressing gun violence.
Past efforts to address gun violence in the wake of US mass shootings have failed in Congress.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein warned that the order could be tied up in court for years unless Congress also passes a bump-stock ban.
Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat and leading advocate for tighter gun controls, said Mr Trump’s directive suggested the president was aware of fresh energy on the issue and called it a sign that “for the first time” politicians are “scared of the political consequences of inaction on guns.”
The president’s action was “a small, but vital step in the history of our movement” against gun violence, Mr Murphy added.
Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, said: “My understanding is that review has been completed and movement will take place on that shortly. The president doesn’t support the use of those accessories.”
She said people from Parkland would come to the White House on Wednesday, along with some affected by past school shootings in Columbine, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut.
At the listening session students, parents and teachers would speak with the president about school safety and other issues.
The National Rifle Association, America’s main gun rights group, had already agreed that bump stocks should be looked at.
Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said after the Las Vegas shooting that they should be subject to “additional regulation” although not banned.
The NRA said it could not comment on Mr Trump’s proposed bump-stock ban until it saw the specifics of the regulation.
“Banning semi-automatic firearms and accessories has been shown time and time again to not prevent criminal activity and simply punishes the law abiding for the criminal acts of others,” said Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for the NRA’s lobbying arm.
The purchasing of fully automatic weapons has been significantly restricted in the US since the 1930s.
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/20/donald-trump-moves-ban-bump-stocks-wake-us-mass-shootings/