Supporters and opponents weigh in on proposed bump stock ban rule
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The Trump Administration is currently accepting public comments before their proposal to ban bump stocks becomes final.
A week ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Justice Department has taken the first official step toward banning the devices.
The ban on bump stocks originally came up in response to the Las Vegas shooting last year.
Gunman Steven Paddock used a bump stock to make his semi-automatic weapons fire more rapidly.
As the fate of the proposal is up in the air those for it and against it have their concerns.
Marion Smith, the owner of Smitty's Firearms, is no stranger to bump stocks.
"I have sold them, I have installed them and I have used them," said Smith.
Despite, his experience and support for the gun accessory, Smith says they are not often sold in his shop or used by gun owners.
"Bump stocks had a pinnacle and then sort of diminished. I get very few comments about bump stocks," said Smith. "If someone came in and wanted me to order one I have no problem with it."
Even though Smith says he rarely uses the plastic gun-accessory he is disappointed with the department of justice proposing to ban them.
"It's never-ending," said Smith. "You give a little they take a bunch."
Under the ban that was filed by the DOJ, the National Firearms and Gun Control Act would define 'machinegun' to include bump stocks. This proposed clarification would make them illegal under federal law.
This move by the Administration has gun-control advocates like Jacob McLeod feeling optimistic.
"I was surprised the Trump Administration brought this forward, I think it's time we took some action regarding this issue," said McLeod.
McLeod, who recently organized an anti-gun violence march in Tyler says this shows that lawmakers are feeling the pressure.
"I hope it gets bipartisan support," said McLeod.
There is one thing both sides do agree on, the fight to classify bump stock as an illegal device will be an ongoing debate.
The proposed bump stock ban does not need the approval of Congress, which is why it could face legal challenges.
The proposal is still in the public comment period.
If it passes, the possession of bump stocks would be illegal and owners of the devices would have to immediately surrender or destroy them.
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