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Trump urges ban on ‘bump stocks,’ other gun modifiers

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President Trump on Tuesday directed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to craft new regulations to ban firearm modifiers including the “bump stock” used in the Las Vegas massacre, amid bipartisan calls to strengthen gun laws in the wake of recent shooting rampages.

During an event at the White House, the president announced he signed a memo ordering the regulations on “bump stocks” and told Sessions he wants new federal guidelines finalized “very soon.

He also signaled support for additional changes to gun legislation, tweeting Tuesday evening, “Whether we are Republican or Democrat, we must now focus on strengthening Background Checks!”

The memo, released by the White House on Tuesday, directs the DOJ to propose a rule “banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machineguns.”

Trump wrote in the memo, “Although the Obama administration repeatedly concluded that particular bump stock type devices were lawful to purchase and possess, I sought further clarification of the law restricting fully automatic machineguns.”

GUN LAW CHANGES ATTRACT RENEWED GOP INTEREST

A spokesman for the DOJ said it is acting “quickly” on the president’s order.

“The department understands this is a priority for the president and has acted quickly to move through the rulemaking process,” spokesman Sarah Isgur Flores said. “We look forward to the results of that process as soon as it is duly completed.”

During Tuesday’s press briefing, the White House said the president opposes the “bump stock” rifle modifier, which make semi-automatic firearms fire faster.

“I can tell you the president supports not having the use of bump stocks and that we expect further action on that in the coming days,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Tuesday.

Sanders added that the president had ordered the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to review the regulation of bump stocks after a gunman opened fire on concert-goers on the Las Vegas strip in October, killing more than 50 people. 

“My understanding is that review has been completed and movement will take place on that shortly,” Sanders said.

In the wake of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people, Sanders said Trump plans to host parents, teachers and students on Wednesday to discuss “efforts to ensure safety at our schools.” Among those attending will be members of the Parkland community and those affected by the Sandy Hook and Columbine school shootings, the White House added.

Liberals have renewed calls for new gun control measures after last week’s shooting. Trump, who was backed by the NRA during the 2016 election, has expressed support for the Second Amendment and has said he’s against reflexive gun control measures that wouldn’t make a difference.

Sanders said the White House hasn’t “closed the door on any front.”

She also said, “The president has expressed his support for efforts to improve the federal background system and in the coming days we will continue to explore ways to ensure the safety and security of our schools.”

Meanwhile, the state House in Florida, days after the Parkland shooting, on Tuesday voted down a motion to take up a bill that would ban so-called assault rifles, effectively killing the measure for this session. The motion failed by a 36-71 vote.

Fox News’ Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alex Pappas is a politics reporter at FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AlexPappas.



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GOP Sen. Johnson delays Covid relief bill by forcing all 628 pages be read out loud

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A Republican senator on Thursday severely delayed the passage of a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package by forcing the entire 628-page bill to be read out loud.

In protest of the bill, which had been expected to pass after a marathon round of votes overnight Thursday, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., objected to waiving the reading of the legislation.

Two Senate clerks — John Merlino and Mary Anne Clarkson — are expected to take shifts reading the bill. The effort, which began at around 3:30 p.m., could last over 15 hours before lawmakers actually begin debating the provisions in the legislation.

Any member can object to waiving the reading of the bill, a procedural move that is typically skipped. Johnson said in a tweet on Thursday because of its large price tag “we should know what’s in the bill.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Johnson’s stunt would “accomplish little more than a few sore throats for the Senate clerks who work very hard day in, day out to help the Senate function.”

The clerk begins reading 628 pages of the Covid Relief bill on the Senate floor of the Capitol on March 4, 2021.NBC News

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted Thursday afternoon to begin debate on President Joe Biden’s relief package in a party-line vote. The bill does not need any Republican support to pass because Democrats are using a special budget process to bypass the filibuster. However, Republicans are expected to raise objections to the bill anyway.

Before a final vote can be taken, there will be a period of lawmakers introducing unlimited amendments, known as a vote-a-rama.

The House passed a version of the Covid-19 relief bill in February. Once the Senate bill is approved, the House will need to vote on it again before it can be sent to the president.



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Whitehall cuts NOW! 'Staggering' salaries of civil servants must be slashed, says Leaver

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BREXITEER Rupert Lowe has demanded “Whitehall cuts” coming just a day after Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed tax changes in his Budget.x

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U.S. Capitol Police request continued National Guard help amid security threats

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The U.S. Capitol Police are asking to keep National Guard troops around for a while longer to help protect the complex, two defense officials confirmed to NBC News.

The police officials’ request of the Department of Defense comes as fears of another assault on the Capitol by extremists went unrealized Thursday and highlights the continued concerns about security at the building.

The request was for a 60-day extension, The Associated Press reported. The nearly 5,000 troops still in Washington, D.C. were slated to return home next week. It’s unclear how many troops the Capitol Police are requesting. The defense officials said the request was an initial ask, with a more detailed request still forthcoming.

The National Guard’s presence at the Capitol was beefed up after the deadly Jan. 6 riot, which saw hundreds of former President Donald Trump’s supporters storm the building in a bid to delay or reject the counting of electoral votes in favor of Joe Biden.

Security was heightened at the Capitol on Thursday after the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI sent a joint intelligence bulletin to state and local law enforcement officials warning them that some domestic extremist groups have “discussed plans to take control of the U.S. Capitol and remove democratic lawmakers on or about 4 March,” a senior law enforcement official told NBC News.

March 4 is considered the “true inauguration day” by some Trump supporters and believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory.

The bulletin also warned that extremists were emboldened by the success of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, heightening the overall threat they pose. It made clear that “the threat did not begin or end on January 6,” the law enforcement official said.

The aftermath of the attack has resulted in the erection of additional barriers around the Capitol as well as the large troop presence — issues that lawmakers have complained about during recent hearings on security issues and elsewhere. Some Democrats have expressed concern about the true level of safety at the Capitol, while some Republicans have downplayed the need for the enhanced security.

Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., told The Associated Press that lawmakers have been concerned about the security plan going forward.

“We want to understand what the plan is,” Slotkin said. “None of us like looking at the fencing, the gates, the uniformed presence around the Capitol. We can’t depend on the National Guard for our security.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, however, suggested at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week that the security presence at the Capitol amounted to “political theater” intended to cast Trump supporters in a negative light.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters on Wednesday that she thinks the National Guard should remain at the Capitol “as long as needed.”

Pelosi has tasked retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré with leading a review of the Capitol’s security, and said she hopes to be able to present a draft of the plan to the House next week.

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