Bill proposing ban on bump stocks unfurled in House; Ryan opposes

A bipartisan bill aiming to ban a mechanism affixed to semiautomatic weapons used by mass murderer Steven Paddock to carry out the Las Vegas shooting spree was introduced in the House on Tuesday.

Twenty members of the House, 10 Republicans among them, co-sponsored the bill, which will prohibit the use of “bump stocks” attached to semiautomatic weapons.  The bill was introduced by Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Seth Moulton (D-Mass.).

“For the first time in decades, there is growing bipartisan consensus for sensible gun policy, a polarizing issue that has deeply divided Republicans and Democrats.  This common-sense legislation will ban devices that blatantly circumvent already existing law without restricting Second Amendment rights.” Curbelo said.

A “bump stock” is a modification to which allows semiautomatic weapons to function as an automatic weapon.  Fastened to a semiautomatic weapon, a bump stock allows semiautomatic weapons to increase the rate of fire virtually identical to automatic weapons.

At a cost of approximately $200, a bump stock can increase a weapon’s rate of fire from a maximum 60 rounds per minute to over 400 rounds per minute.

Fearing the bill would covertly ban semi-automatic weapons, the National Rifle Association has announced its opposition to Curbelo’s motion. Speaker Paul Ryan has also signaled resistance to the bill, saying Wednesday the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) should rather act to deem the device as illegal.

“We think the regulatory fix is the smartest, quickest fix, and then, frankly, we’d like to know how it happened in the first place,” he said.

Congressman Curbelo previously indicated ATF cannot handle the issue alone without being subjected to litigation, as the agency ruled in favor of bump stocks in 2010.

“If they were to get sued after changing that interpretation, the plaintiffs would have a very strong case”, Curbelo said. “So if people agree with banning these devices, let’s pass a law.”

A similar bill to the House version has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).


[The Hill] [] [The Federalist] [Washington Free Beacon] [Washington Post] [Photo courtesy Bouzakine]