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Justice Department moves to officially ban bump stocks, classifies them as 'machine guns

The Department of Justice submitted regulation on Saturday to officially outlaw bump stocks. (George Frey/Getty Images)

It looks like bump stocks will now be a thing of the past.

The Department of Justice on Saturday submitted regulation to formally ban the devices, which modify semi-automatic rifles to fire like fully-automatic rifles. The devices were used in the Las Vegas massacre last October, which left nearly five dozen dead and more than 800 others injured.

What happened?

The DOJ announced Saturday it had submitted its proposed regulation to the Office of Management and Budget, which must approve the regulation before it is enforced, according to Reuters.

The proposed regulation defines bump stocks as "machine guns" and seeks to have them outlawed under the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act. If the regulation is approved, bump stocks will be illegal to buy, sell, possess and manufacture.

The regulation does not need congressional approval and was expected after President Donald Trump directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ban the devices last month.

However, it reverses a 2010 decision by the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that found bump stocks did not fall under the National Firearm Act's definition of a "machine gun" and therefore could only be regulated if Congress amended the NFAGCA's definition of "machine gun."

What did Sessions say?

He said in a statement:

President Trump is absolutely committed to ensuring the safety and security of every American and he has directed us to propose a regulation addressing bump stocks. To that end, the Department of Justice has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a notice of a proposed regulation to clarify that the National Firearms and Gun Control Act defines "machinegun" to include bump stock type devices.

What happens next?

As previously stated, the DOJ has sent the regulation to the OBM for review, which must approve it. Meanwhile, the ATF also has to submit "an analysis and evaluate public comments on regulating the devices," according to The Hill.

The process to completely outlaw bump stocks will likely take months.

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