Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker signed a regulation on Tuesday making bump stocks illegal to possess beginning in late March.
Bump stocks allow semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like automatic firearms. The issue of bump stocks has been at the center of the national gun debate.
They were used in October 2017 when a man opened fire from his Las Vegas hotel suite into a large crowd of people attending a concert. 58 people were killed and hundreds more injured.
“The final rule that was signed today, the Department of Justice clarified that bump stock type devices are machine guns and are prohibited by federal law. And anyone possessing these bump stock type devices have about 90 days, to either destroy them or turn them in to an ATF field office before this rule becomes final and is enforced,” said acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.
In New York, bump stocks are in something of a grey area. In short, it’s legal to own, buy or sell them in the state. However, it’s illegal to attach them to a firearm and use them.
“A bump stock is nothing more than an accessory that’s mounted on a semi automatic rifle that enhances the users ability to squeeze the trigger faster. It’s kind of a niche item, there’s not really a lot of demand or least there hasn’t been through us,” said Paul Perine.
Last March, President Donald Trump said his administration would “ban” the devices, which he said “turns legal weapons into illegal machines.”