Hours after the Trump Administration signaled that it would administratively move to ban ‘bump stocks,’ which allow semi-automatic weapons to be fired at a much more rapid rate, lawmakers in both parties said it was time for the Congress to enact those regulations into law, as opponents of the decision vowed to immediately challenge the President’s plan in court. “We will be filing our lawsuit very, very soon,” the Gun Owners of America said in a written statement. “After all, in the coming days, an estimated half a million bump stock owners will have the difficult decision of either destroying or surrendering their valuable property – or else risk felony prosecution,” the group added. At the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that is the plan, making clear that bump stocks will be illegal as of March 21, 2019. On banning bump stocks, Sanders says people have until March 2019 to turn them in or have them destroyed. Says they fall under same guidelines as machine guns. — Dana Brown Ritter (@danabrownritter) December 18, 2018 “A 90 period now begins which persons in possession of bump stock type devices must turn those devices to an ATF field office, or destroy them by March 21,” Sanders said at the White House briefing. Justice Department officials told reporters on Tuesday that bump stocks will be administratively banned by using language from a federal law which prohibits machine guns. There was no immediate comment from the National Rifle Association on whether that group would join in legal action against bump stocks as well. In Congress, lawmakers in both parties said while the President’s step is overdue, the House and Senate should also vote to codify the bump stock ban. “This is good news, but it is just one small step toward stopping mass shootings,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH). “We must do far more to prevent gun violence.” “There’s no justification for bump stocks that transform semi-automatic weapons into machine guns,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). A regulation – not a law – is finally being issued to ban bump stocks. This is welcome news. But the country shouldn’t have had to wait a year+ after Vegas to get the most basic regulation. It’s testament to how hard we’ll need to fight to get the comprehensive gun safety we need https://t.co/LgjgBcAhxv — Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) December 18, 2018 “The President seems to be more interested in making headlines than making progress,” said Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV). “We know that his proposal will likely be tied up in the courts.” 58 people were killed in Titus’ district in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, when a gunman opened fire on an outdoor concert, using ‘bump stocks’ to allow him to shoot more ammunition more quickly, in what was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States. “Finally and should be codified,” said Rep. Carlos Cubelo (R-FL), one of the few Republicans who has called for action on bump stocks in Congress.
A Texas 19-year-old has been charged with killing a young mother in a violent crash Sunday night as she drove with her toddler son and her mother. Erick Raphael Hernandez, of Pearland, was charged Monday with intoxication manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Taylor Phillips, court records show. As of Tuesday morning, he had been released from the Harris County Jail on $30,000 bond. >> Read more trending news ABC 13 in Houston reported that Phillips was driving an SUV with her mother and 1-year-old son inside when Hernandez crossed three lanes of traffic on a South Houston street and slammed into Phillips’ vehicle with his truck. The entire crash was caught on a security camera outside a nearby auto repair shop, the news station said. The grainy footage, seen below, appears to show Hernandez’s truck smash into the front driver’s side of Phillips’ SUV. The impact flings debris across the roadway. Phillips died at the scene. Her son and 48-year-old mother were hospitalized with serious, but not life-threatening, injuries. The victims’ family told ABC 13 both have since been released to recover at home. Phillips’ social media profile is filled with photos of her son, who celebrated his first birthday in August. “Sometimes when I need a miracle, I look into my son’s eyes and realize I’ve already created one,” Phillips wrote on Facebook alongside a photo of her son in October. In another post, she wrote that she had waited for the love of her son her entire life and would “cherish it forever.” Phillips also often mentioned a sister, Tyré Rai Sai Phillips, on her Facebook page. According to the Houston Police Department, Tyré Phillips was an innocent bystander at a party on April 14, 2013, when multiple fights broke out, during which shots were fired. Tyré Phillips, who was killed as she sought safety, died a week after her 19th birthday. It was not immediately clear if an arrest has ever been made in her slaying. Court records obtained by ABC 13 indicated that Hernandez was drinking at a bar with a cousin before Sunday’s deadly crash. The legal drinking age in Texas is 21. Hernandez, whose appears intoxicated in his mugshot, had bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and was off-balance after the crash, the news station said. When questioned at the scene, Hernandez admitted he drank a few beers. “Based on his field sobriety tests, it was a lot more than a few,” Sean Teare, a member of the Harris County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Unit, told The Houston Chronicle. Teare told the Chronicle that investigators had learned where Hernandez had been drinking prior to the crash. ABC 13 identified the bar as Frontera Events Venue, which is located about a mile from the crash site. “Obviously, at 19 he shouldn’t be drinking anywhere,” Teare told the newspaper. ABC 13 reported that the court records indicate Hernandez had been drinking since 6 p.m. Sunday but could not remember when he’d had his last drink. A fake ID and bar receipt were found in his car after the crash. “We believe that he spent well over $100 at the bar drinking alcohol that day,” Teare told the news station. The district attorney’s office is now investigating the bar to determine if workers there overserved Hernandez. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission records indicate Frontera, which obtained its license in October 2017, has had six complaints filed against it this year involving alcohol being in the hands of underage individuals. One of those complaints, in which a violation was not found, involved employing someone under the age of 18 to sell or handle alcohol. The remaining five complaints dealt with selling or serving alcohol to minors and serving alcohol to someone already intoxicated. Three of the five complaints were substantiated, the records show. One of the three substantiated claims also included the sale of drugs by the licensee. Teare told ABC 13 that Frontera’s owner and employees could face charges related to the fatal crash. “If an establishment, if a server sees somebody who is intoxicated, they’ve got to stop serving,” Teare said. “They’ve got to take steps to ensure that person doesn’t leave their establishment and kill people.” The district attorney’s office is also considering action to shut the bar’s doors for good. “I just know that a 19-year-old individual came out of that establishment highly intoxicated and moments later took a 23-year-old's life,” Teare told ABC 13. “That shouldn’t happen. Someone in addition to that 19-year-old is going to have to answer for that.”
A federal judge agreed to delay sentencing for President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI. >> Read more trending news Flynn resigned from his post in the Trump administration in February 2017 after serving just 24 days in office. He pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials and agreed to fully cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: FBI 302 shows Flynn misled FBI agents about 2016 Russian contacts Update 2:20 EST Dec. 18: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing Tuesday afternoon that Flynn’s criminal case had nothing to do with Trump. “The activities that he is said to ... have engaged in don’t have anything to do with the president,” Huckabee Sanders said. “We wish Gen. Flynn well and we'll continue to focus on doing what we do here everyday.” Update 1 p.m. EST Dec. 18: Attorneys for Flynn asked U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to delay his sentencing Tuesday after the judge asked whether Flynn wanted to wait until after his cooperation with Mueller’s team was completed before being handed his sentence, CNN reported. Authorities said in court records filed earlier this month that Flynn has met with investigators 19 times since pleading guilty in December 2017. He’s provided information in three separate investigations, including the probe into Russian election meddling, officials said. >> From Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree: After stern criticism, federal judge delays Flynn sentencing Sullivan paused court proceedings for about half an hour Tuesday to allow Flynn time to confer with his attorneys about whether to postpone the sentencing hearing until after he’s completed his cooperation with authorities, Vox.com reported. Flynn’s attorney suggested in court that most of Flynn’s cooperation with Mueller had been completed, the news site reported, although the attorney added that it was possible Flynn could cooperate further in a case brought against his former business associates in a federal court in Virginia. >> Michael Flynn's former business associates accused of illegally lobbying for Turkey An indictment unsealed Monday showed authorities charged Flynn’s former business partner, Bijan Kian, 66, and Turkish businessman Kamil Ekim Alptekin, 41, with conspiracy, acting in the U.S. as illegal agents of the government of Turkey and making false statements to the FBI. Update 12:50 p.m. EST Dec. 18: Court proceedings resumed just after 12:40 p.m. Tuesday after U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan called a recess to the proceedings. Sullivan cautioned people not to 'read too much into the questions' asked before the break, including a question about whether Flynn could have been charged with treason, The Huffington Post reported. 'I wasn't suggesting he had committed treason,' Sullivan said, according to Vox.com. 'I was just curious.' Update 12:05 p.m. EST Dec. 18: Court proceedings were paused Tuesday morning for a recess to allow Flynn time to confer with his attorneys after U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan asked whether Flynn could have been charged with treason, The Huffington Post reported. Court is expected resume at 12:30 p.m. Sullivan asked Flynn several questions earlier Tuesday to make sure he wanted to proceed with his sentencing hearing. Sullivan asked Flynn to consider whether to push the hearing back until after he’s completed his cooperation with Mueller’s team, Vox.com reported. Update 11:40 a.m. EST Dec. 18: Flynn told U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan on Tuesday that he knew it was a crime to lie to the FBI, CNN reported. Sullivan asked Flynn a series of questions Tuesday to make sure he wanted to move forward with his sentencing hearing after Flynn said in a defense memo that the FBI never warned him that it was against the law to lie to federal agents. Update 10 a.m. EST Dec. 18: Flynn has arrived at the courthouse ahead of his scheduled sentencing hearing. Original report: President Donald Trump on Tuesday wished Flynn luck ahead of his scheduled sentencing for lying to FBI investigators probing Russian election meddling and its possible ties to Trump and his presidential campaign. “Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn,” Trump wrote Tuesday morning in a tweet. “Will be interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him, about Russian Collusion in our great and, obviously, highly successful political campaign. There was no Collusion!” >> Michael Flynn's former business associates accused of illegally lobbying for Turkey Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced at an 11 a.m. hearing before U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, according to court records. Prosecutors asked a judge earlier this month to sentence Flynn to little or no jail time in connection to the case, citing his cooperation with investigators. >> More on Robert Mueller's investigation In a memo filed last week, Flynn’s attorneys asked he be spared jail time and suggested that FBI agents played to his desire to keep the situation quiet and, as a result, kept him from involving a lawyer when investigators approached him just days after Trump’s inauguration. Mueller’s team has sharply pushed back at any suggestion that Flynn was duped, with prosecutors responding that as a high-ranking military officer steeped in national security issues, Flynn “knows he should not lie to federal agents.” >> Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen sentenced to 3 years in prison, Trump responds on Twitter Flynn is, so far, the only member of Trump’s administration to plead guilty to charges in the Mueller investigation, according to Reuters. Last week, a federal judge in New York sentenced Trump’s former long-time attorney Michael Cohen to 36 months in prison for charges that included one count of lying to Congress that had been levied against Trump’s former fixer by Mueller’s office. Trump has frequently railed against the investigation, which he has called a witch hunt, and denied any collusion with Russia. The Associated Press contributed to this report.