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The Views on the Bump Stock Ban

December 26, 2018

The Las Vegas shooting in October of 2017 that killed 59 people and injured 800 others remains a prime example of a deadly attack carried out by bump stocks. Bump stocks, an accessory to a firearm that allows it to shoot at a quicker pace, essentially convert a semi-automatic rifle into a fully automatic rifle. According to the New York Times, fully automatic rifles have been banned in the U.S. since 1986. Bump Stocks are clearly unconstitutional, as automatic rifles are illegal.

Following the Las Vegas shooting, and other mass shootings such as Parkland, demands for gun reform, such as banning bump stocks, have increased. President Donald Trump announced that his administration would ban bump stocks a day before the March for Our Lives rallies for gun reform took place across the country, a show of an increasing need to appease the masses of people calling for gun reform.

Trump’s decision to ban bump stocks got announced Dec. 18. The federal bump stock ban gives owners 90 days to either turn in the now illegal accessory or destroy it on their own, and will officially make selling the bump stocks illegal, going into effect immediately. Trump’s federal ban on bump stocks may be the first step to solving an issue that plagues America, showing the non-partisan aspect of the issue.

However, Trump likely issued the ban as a political power move, not because of what he believes. He had the opportunity to formally issue a notice about a ban to the American people for months, and the news only came after the midterms on Nov. 6 and some bad press. At a time in which many expect news relating to who will be making a presidential bid in 2020, Trump needed that push of positive press, though it may earn him some disdain from the National Rifle Association and its members.

President Trump will be seeking a reelection bid in 2020, according to NBC News. This means that if he has a chance of winning against an upcoming powerhouse Democratic nominee, he needs to appease grumbling conservatives and liberals alike who have become single-issue voters in recent months. To do this, he needs to find a balance. Bump stocks remained one of those things that would gain him respect from those calling for gun reform, while simultaneously keeping those who support little to no gun regulation happy.

The federal bump stock ban was coming for months now. With a definitive answer, it will be interesting to watch the 2020 election play out with a most likely gun-safe candidate on the Democratic side and Trump on the Republican side.

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