Feb 20, 2018

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen
1 big thing: Trump wants review on bump stocks

President Trump wants the Justice Department to review a ban on bump stocks, and other gun modifications like them, in the wake of Las Vegas.

"After the deadly shooting in Las Vegas, I directed the Attorney General to clarify whether bump stock devices like the one used in Las Vegas are illegal under current law. That process began in December, and just a few moments ago, I signed a memorandum directing the Attorney General to ban all devices that turn illegal weapons into machine guns. I expect that these critical regulations will be finalized... very soon."
— President Trump today [Video]

What a bump stock does, via a useful N.Y. Times explainer:

  • "The stock 'bumps' back and forth between the shooter’s shoulder and trigger finger, causing the rifle to rapidly fire again and again."
  • "The shooter holds his or her trigger finger in place, while maintaining forward pressure on the barrel and backward pressure on the pistol grip while firing."
  • "The bump stock is not banned under federal law even though it allows a weapon to fire at nearly the rate of a machine gun without technically converting it to a fully automatic firearm."

P.S. ... "In wake of school shooting, Florida legislators vote down attempt to revive bill to ban assault rifles." [AP]

2. New polling on guns
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Data: ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted Feb. 15-18, 2018; Chart: Axios Visuals
3. What you missed

Alex Van der Zwaan, former associate at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom UK LLP, arrives at Federal Court. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images

  1. Robert Mueller has charged Dutch lawyer Alex Van der Zwaan with making false statements to FBI investigators. Read the indictment... His Paul Manafort connection.
  2. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas presented a proposal for re-launching peace talks with Israel today. The White House's "Peace Team" was in attendance.
  3. The U.S. Army is awarding Medals of Heroism to three JROTC members killed in the Parkland shooting. Details.
  4. AT&T won't get records of communications between Justice Department officials and the White House about its attempted merger with Time Warner. More.
  5. Democrats are feeling hopeful after the redrawing of Pennsylvania's congressional map. The new map... The numbers.
  6. An extra month: Officials in Cape Town on Tuesday moved the date when taps are expected to run dry in the drought-stricken city to July 9 from June 4. The backdrop.
Mike Allen