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Trump supports US ban on 'bump stocks'

Rapid-fire device was used in Las Vegas shooting that saw 58 concert-goers killed

Image Credit: Reuters
US President Donald Trump.

Washington: US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he supported moves to ban “bump stocks” — an accessory which can turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic one, and which was used in last year’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Trump announced his support for the ban nearly a week after 14 students and three teachers were killed at a high school in Florida by a former student.

“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,” the president said.

Speaking at a White House event to honour a dozen Americans for heroism, Trump said he expected these “critical regulations” to be finalised “very soon”.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice said it had “acted quickly to move through the rulemaking process. We look forward to the results of that process as soon as it is duly completed”.

Calls to ban bump stocks have been mounting since Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock used them to kill 58 concertgoers in October 2017, in the deadliest mass shooting in recent US history.

A ban on bump stocks is one of the rare gun control moves which has also won the support of the powerful National Rifle Association gun lobby.

“We cannot merely take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference,” Trump said. “We must actually make a difference.

“We must move past cliches and tired debates and focus on evidence-based solutions and security measures that actually work,” he said.