President Donald Trump Tuesday announced he signed a directive ordering Attorney General Jeff Sessions to craft legislation banning "bump stocks" and other devices that turn semi-automatic firearms into automatic weapons. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 20 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he signed a directive to ban devices that turn semi-automatic firearms into automatic weapons.
Speaking at the Public Safety Medal of Valor Awards Ceremony, Trump said the directive orders Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department to craft legislation banning items such as "bump stocks" which were used to modify weapons in the October mass shooting in Las Vegas.
"I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized very soon," he said.
The Department of Justice began reviewing the legality of bump stocks in December after Stephen Paddock used them to convert 12 of his guns to fire at higher rates than semi-automatic rifles usually do as he carried out an attack on a Las Vegas music festival that killed 58 people and injured hundreds more.
"We can not take actions that merely make us feel like we are making a difference, we must actually make a difference," Trump said.
Trump also addressed the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 students and faculty last week, saying he plans to hold a meeting with students, local leaders and law enforcement.
"We must do more to protect our children," he said. "We have to do more to protect our children."
About 1,000 students from West Boca High School left class Tuesday and walked more than 10 miles to the site of the shooting to protest U.S. gun laws.
Meanwhile activists from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School boarded busses to Tallahassee to lobby lawmakers to enact stricter gun control laws.
The Florida House voted 71-36 against an attempt to debate and vote on a bill that would prevent the sale and possession of assault weapons as the students watched the session.
Also Tuesday the Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to California's 10-day waiting period for people seeking to buy a firearm.