Donald Trump has officially moved to to ban bump stocks, the controversial devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like automatic firearms. Bump stocks were used by gunman Stephen Paddock who killed 58 people at a music festival in Las Vegas in October last year, the worst mass shooting in modern US history. A senior Justice Department official said bump stocks will be banned from late March next year. Following the Las Vegas shooting the devices became a focal point in the national gun control debate. Paddock rained a hail of bullets from his 32nd-floor Las Vegas hotel room, killing 58 people at a concert. Following the shooting Mr Trump said he would ban the devices. However, opposition from the National Rifle Association prevented a law being passed by Congress. Instead, a regulation was signed by Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general, on Tuesday. It will go into effect 90 days after being formally published, which is expected to happen on Friday, the Justice Department official said. In March, Mr Trump said his administration would “ban” the devices, which he said “turn legal weapons into illegal machines.” Shortly after his comments the justice department announced it had started the process to amend firearms regulations to define bump stocks as machine guns. That reversed a decision in 2010 by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives[ATF] that bump stocks were not machine guns. Since the Las Vegas shooting at least 10 US states have introduced their own restrictions on the devices. Under the new regulation owners of bump stocks will have to surrender them to the ATF, or destroy them, by late March. Paddock was armed with assault weapons, 14 of them fitted with bump stocks which increased their rate of fire. After killing the concert-goers Paddock shot himself dead. The largest maker of bump stocks, Slide Fire Solutions, announced in April that it was going to stop taking orders and shutting down its website.
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