President Trump has signed a controversial order pushing for more gun laws, including a total ban on bump stocks. Our usually pro-gun president seemed to have a change of heart after speaking directly with students affected by the Florida school shooting early in the week. After visiting with impacted students, Trump initiated an order to ban bump stocks entirely and indicated his potential support for an increase in gun laws in general – including background checks.
• Bump stocks modify semi-automatics so they shoot at the speed and frequency of a fully-automatic weapon. This is the same modification used during last year’s active shooter event in Las Vegas, where Stephen Paddock injured 500 people.
• The shooting in Las Vegas is considered to be America’s worst active shooter event yet. Experts believe Paddock fired 90 bullets into the crowd in less than 10 seconds. Without using a bump stock, the rate of fire would have been much, much lower.
• President Trump called on the Department of Justice to put forward gun control proposals following the shooting.
• Trump drafted and signed the order on Tuesday. He then passed it on to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is expected to follow it through until full approval. Although the President retains the power to initiate orders as he sees fit, the order must still be approved for full initialization.
• Despite having bipartisan support, attempts to ban bump stocks in the past have largely failed or incited counter-pressure in Congress. South Carolina, Illinois, Washington and Colorado have all either rejected or fought the proposal over the last few years. These areas may fight the order going forward, too.
• Trump also tweeted his support for increased background checks on gun owners, calling for a more thorough process. He also encouraged bipartisan support for an increase in screening measures. “Whether we are Republican or Democrat, we must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!”
• White House principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah confirmed Trump’s support for background checks in an interview with the press. “…the President is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system.”