U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that the Department of Justice is publishing for comment a proposal to change federal regulations to classify devices with bump stocks as machine guns.
Bump stocks, devices that enable a semiautomatic weapon to function as a fully automatic one, have been the object of controversy since a mass shooting in Las Vegas last year where 58 people died and hundreds more were injured.
In a news release late Friday, Sessions said, “President [Donald] Trump has had no higher priority than the safety of each and every American.”
Sessions said that focus on safety was the reason behind Friday’s move, the publishing of a proposed rule change.
U.S. citizens will have 90 days to comment on the proposal, which “would define ‘machinegun’ to include bump stock-type devices under federal law — effectively banning them,” the statement said.
Public comments do not necessarily have an impact on whether the proposal is implemented; federal officials will still have the final say on how and whether the classification of bump stock devices is changed.