New legislation has been proposed, which would ban firearm parts that increase the rate of fire of a semi-automatic rifle. On Wednesday, the National Rifle Association announced its opposition to the bill.
“We are opposed to the Feinstein and Curbelo legislation,” said Jennifer Baker, a spokesperson for the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The legislation was cosponsored by 10 representatives from each party, and introduced by Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R., Fla.), in response to the Las Vegas shooting. During that massacre, Stephen Paddock, 64, perpetrated the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. He shot and killed 59 people and injured nearly 500 others from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas on the evening of October 1.
While police continue to work with the FBI to determine why he committed the horrendous crime, guns he used during the shooting were found to be equipped with bump fire stocks. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) said Paddock had 24 guns in his hotel room, and 12 of them had bump fire stocks attached.
A bump stock is a legal device meant to be attached to the back of a rifle. They allow the gun to fire more rapidly, simulating automatic fire. When Paddock was shooting his victims, the rounds sounded as if they were coming from an automatic weapon, according to reports.
A bump stock does not actually modify a rifle to make it automatic. It does not have any automatically functioning mechanical parts or springs and does not perform an automatic mechanical function when installed. The device is intended to serve is assisting the shooter’s finger on the trigger.
The text of the bill goes beyond banning bump fire stocks, it also requires those who own them to surrender them. It additionally calls for any part that increases the firing speed of a rifle to be banned and relinquished. The language could spell an end to the manufacture, sale, or possession of aftermarket triggers, bolts, or other components.
“It shall be unlawful for any person—in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, to manufacture, possess, or transfer any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun,” the bill reads, “or to manufacture, possess, or transfer any such part or combination of parts that have been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.’”
The ban would go into effect 90 days after the bill’s enactment into law.
In a statement, Sen. Curbelo said: “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.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) said calls from the NRA and others for the ATF to reexamine whether bump fire stocks should be legal are not good enough.
“The ATF lacks authority under the law to ban bump fire stocks, period. ” Feinstein said. “The agency made this crystal clear in a 2013 letter to Congress, writing that ‘stocks of this type are not subject to the provisions of federal firearms statutes.’ Legislation is the only answer and Congress shouldn’t attempt to pass the buck.”
“We are opposed to the Feinstein and Curbelo legislation,” NRA-ILA spokesperson Jennifer Baker tells me.
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) October 11, 2017
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