Ajay Dhin­gra of Texas is 1st to be charged un­der bump stock ban

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global - Mi­hir Zaveri

Au­thor­i­ties in Hous­ton said on Thurs­day that they had brought charges in what they be­lieved to be the coun­try’s first pros­e­cu­tion un­der a new ban on bump stocks, the at­tach­ments that en­able semi­au­to­matic ri­fles to fire in sus­tained, rapid bursts. The ban, which went into ef­fect in March, was or­dered last year by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion fol­low­ing sev­eral mass shoot­ings.

The sus­pect in the Hous­ton case, Ajay Dhin­gra, 43, drew au­thor­i­ties’ at­ten­tion in Au­gust af­ter he sent an email to the Ge­orge W Bush Pres­i­den­tial Cen­ter ask­ing the for­mer pres­i­dent to “send one of your boys to come mur­der me,” ac­cord­ing to court records. “I want to die by the hands of a white Chris­tian.”

Fed­eral agents then searched Dhin­gra’s apart­ment and found a Slide Fire bump stock at­tached to a Colt AR-15 ri­fle, a Glock 9mm pis­tol and hun­dreds of rounds of am­mu­ni­tion, ac­cord­ing to court records. Dhin­gra faces four felony gun charges, in­clud­ing pos­ses­sion of the bump stock, pos­ses­sion of firearms and am­mu­ni­tion by some­one who had been com­mit­ted to amen­tal in­sti­tu­tion, and two counts of mak­ing false state­ments about his men­tal health his­tory when he bought the guns. Dhin­gra’s mother said that he had schizophre­nia. If con­victed, he could be sen­tenced to up to 10 years in prison and fined $250,000 on each charge. Dhin­gra’s lawyer de­clined to com­ment on Thurs­day.

In­ter­est in bump stocks surged af­ter the shoot­ing at a con­cert in Las Vegas in 2017. The gun­man had a dozen ri­fles out­fit­ted with bump stocks and killed 58 peo­ple. Trump an­nounced the ban on bump stocks af­ter the 2018 shoot­ing at a school in Park­land that left 17 dead.

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