US President Donald Trump says he has signed a memo directing the Justice Department to propose regulations to “ban all devices” like the rapid-fire bump stocks involved in last year’s Las Vegas massacre.
A ‘bump stock’ is a piece of equipment that harnesses a semiautomatic gun’s recoil to allow it to fire much faster – almost as fast as an automatic.
Seeking to show action days after a deadly school shooting in Florida, Mr Trump spoke during a White House ceremony recognising bravery by the nation’s public safety officers.
“We must move past cliches and tired debates and focus on evidence-based solutions and security measures that actually work,” he said.
The announcement came days after the shooting deaths of 17 people at a high school in Florida, which triggered pro-gun control rallies across the nation.
The device Mr Trump referred to was used in the October shooting deaths of 58 people in Las Vegas, and attached to a half-dozen of the long guns found in the shooter’s hotel room. A legislative effort to ban the device failed last year.
White House officials said the President would meet students, teachers and state and local officials to discuss ways of providing more school safety and address gun violence.
President Trump had also indicated he was open to a limited strengthening of federal background checks on gun purchases.
White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders qualified the support, stressing that talks continue and “revisions are being considered,” but said “the President is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system”.
The main action Mr Trump took on guns was to sign a resolution blocking an Obama-era rule designed to keep guns out of the hands of certain mentally disabled people. The President previously voiced strong support for gun rights and the National Rifle Association.
The bipartisan background check legislation would be aimed at ensuring that federal agencies and states accurately report relevant criminal information to the FBI.
-With AAP and ABC