President Trump announced Tuesday he signed a directive ordering Attorney General Jeff Sessions to craft regulations banning “bump stocks” and other devices that turn semi-automatic firearms into automatic weapons.
The announcement comes as students lobbied state and federal lawmakers to take action after 17 were killed by a gunman with an AR-15 assault rifle at a school in Parkland, Florida.
No specifics were provided when the directive was announced.
Seated in the front row of the East Room, the president told Sessions he wants those new federal guidelines finalized “very soon.”
“We can do more to protect our children. We must do more to protect our children,” Trump said Tuesday, adding school safety is now a top priority of his administration.
The gunman who shot more than 50 people at a concert in Las Vegas last year used bump stock-modified weapons that enabled him to fire at nearly the speed of a machine gun.
Afterwards, a bipartisan coalition and the National Rifle Association advocated additional regulation on the devices.
GOP lawmakers asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to take up the matter, which said its hands were tied until changes to existing law were made. Administrative review awaits. Both chambers proposed legislation opposed by the NRA; neither took action.