First person charged under federal bump stock ban

HOUSTON — The Justice Department has charged a man in Houston with possession of a machine gun, specifically a bump stock, in the first known case since the ban came into effect in March.

Ajay Dhingra was indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts of firearm violations, according to a statement from the Southern District of Texas.

The 43-year-old was noticed by the Secret Service as he sent an email to the George W. Bush foundation and asked the former president to "send one of your boys to come and murder me," the Associated Press reports, citing court records.

Agents from the Secret Service visited Dhingra when he told them that he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

They searched his house and found a handgun, an AR-15 rifle with an attached bump stock and four 100-round magazines.

Dhingra was also charged with making two false statements to acquire two firearms and for unlawfully possessing weapons as he was previously sent to a mental institution.

Regular semi-automatic rifles require a person to pull the trigger every time they fire a shot.

Bump stocks modifications allow the weapon to shoot repeatedly as a person holds his or her finger on the trigger. These stocks continuously "bump" back and forth as a person maintains forward pressure on the gun, allowing the weapon to fire at nearly the rate of a machine gun.

According to the Southern District of Texas, if Dhingra is convicted of any of these charges, he faces up to 10 years of prison and possibly a US$250,000 fine.