Com­ing for your weapons, fi­nally

Lexington Herald-Leader (Sunday) - - Local -

The U.S. Jus­tice Depart­ment’s Fri­day ban of bump stocks — de­vices that al­low semi-au­to­mat­ics to fire at a faster pace — is wel­come news af­ter con­gres­sional gun-safety ef­forts stalled ear­lier this year.

Ful­fill­ing a prom­ise by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, the rule would not only pro­hibit the de­vices from be­ing pro­duced or sold, it re­quires that any ex­ist­ing de­vices be de­stroyed or turned into au­thor­i­ties by March 21. En­force­ment steps are not spelled out.

The de­vices re­ceived na­tional at­ten­tion af­ter be­ing used in the Oc­to­ber, 2017 shoot­ing in Las Ve­gas that killed 58 peo­ple. The shooter fired more than 1,000 rounds in a mat­ter of min­utes. At least 10 states have passed their own re­stric­tions against bump stocks and sim­i­lar de­vices.

While le­gal bat­tles over the rule are ex­pected, it’s still a good step in the push for gun safety and could pro­vide some mo­men­tum for leg­is­la­tion as Democrats take con­trol of the House next month.

The surest way to make bump stocks and sim­i­lar gad­gets il­le­gal is for Congress to pass a law. Six­ty­one per­cent of Amer­i­cans fa­vor stricter laws on the sale of firearms, ac­cord­ing to a Gallup sur­vey con­ducted in Oc­to­ber. That is the strong­est sup­port for re­stric­tions since 1990.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion’s ban is based on the ar­gu­ment that bump stocks are equiv­a­lent to ma­chine guns, which are al­ready il­le­gal. The rule re­verses a 2010 de­ci­sion that such de­vices were not ma­chine guns and could not be reg­u­lated un­less Congress said so.

Gun Own­ers of Amer­ica has al­ready said it would file a law­suit against the “un­con­sti­tu­tional reg­u­la­tions.” The Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion ear­lier agreed to sup­port a bump-stock ban, but now wants amnesty for cur­rent own­ers.

We hope the ad­min­is­tra­tion over­comes any le­gal chal­lenge to this rea­son­able step. In the mean­time, we can’t ig­nore the irony that — af­ter all the pro­pa­ganda about the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion com­ing to take away peo­ple’s guns — it is the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion de­mand­ing peo­ple turn in weapon de­vices.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.