DONALD Trump has pushed for the ban of bump stocks, as Florida lawmakers today voted down a motion to ban assault rifles just days after a school massacre.
The rejection of proposals for tighter gun controls came as the president supported the shelving of a device that turns semi-automatic weapons into machine guns.
Yesterday it was reported Trump also supported efforts to improve background checks on gun ownership.
This admission comes less than a week after a teen walked into a Florida school and gunned down pupils and teachers.
Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High had travelled up to Tallahassee today to put pressure on the lawmakers.
They planned to hold a rally calling on the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature for more gun control.
What is a bump stock?
A bump stock, or bump fire stock, is a device that makes it easier for a semi-automatic firearm to mimic the firing speed of a fully automatic firearms.
The shooter who targeted the Las Vegas strip and left 59 dead used this gun modification.
Fully automatic rifles are generally illegal to own in the US, but this addition can turn a semi-automatic rifle into a quick firing killing machine.
It uses a semi-automatic rifle’s recoil to bounce its stock back and forth off of the shooter’s shoulder and re-cock the gun after each round fired.
While firing, the shooter has to hold their trigger finger in place while simultaneously pushing the barrel forward and pulling the pistol grip backward as it “bumps.”
In layman’s terms it lets you pull the trigger once and then empties an entire clip of bullets.
But despite this and the endorsement of a proposal to put law enforcement officers in every school in the state, the Florida Senate voted 36-71 against a motion to consider a bill banning assault rifles.
However, in a promising move Trump revealed he had just signed a directive ordering Attorney General Jeff Sessions to craft regulations banning “bump stocks”.
Twisted gunman Stephen Paddock, 65, used bump stocks during the Las Vegas massacre – killing 58 people in the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
On school shootings, Trump said: “We can do more to protect our children. We must do more to protect our children.”
As the group from Marjory Douglas High pleaded with their lawmakers today, pupils from neighbouring West Boca Raton High School walked 11 miles to the scene of the atrocity to show solidarity.
They joined the calls to make it harder for people to get hold of semi-automatic rifles.
The weapon used in the Florida school shooting was an AR-15 – this weapon has been present in many of the mass shootings in the US in the past few decades.
It is a lightweight semi-automatic rifle, described by the National Rifle Association as the most popular in America.
It is fed with box magazines – that hold 30 rounds – that can be quickly changed. Someone wielding this weapon could fire more than a hundred rounds in minutes.
Nikolas Cruz, 19 – charged with the premeditated murder of 17 people – was able to legally buy the rifle and keep it in a lockbox in his bedroom, before taking it to the school on February 14.
No laws were violated in the purchase of the weapon used to pepper schoolkids and teachers with bullets.
Anyone over 18 can buy semi-automatic rifles.
There is a three-day waiting period for handguns, but anyone over 18 can step into a shop, have a brief background check and walk out carrying a rifle.
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