Support a Ban on Deadly Bump Stocks

The awful mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 59 people dead and over 500 injured has been a dreadful reminder of the need for common sense gun control measures in the United States. The massacre in Las Vegas was especially deadly because the shooter used devices called bump stocks, which effectively turn semiautomatic weapons into automatic ones by increasing the fire rate. While automatic weapons like machine guns are currently illegal in the US, unless manufactured before 1986, the legal sale of bump stocks provides a loophole that makes semi-automatic guns even deadlier. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have expressed support for banning bump stocks. Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX), a gun owner himself, endorsed measures to ban bump stocks, stating, "There's no reason for a typical gun owner to own anything that converts a semi-automatic to something that behaves like an automatic." Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) agreed, noting, "You can't buy a chain-fed machine gun in the United States today. There's a reason for that. I'd want to make sure nobody had access to that, if that's the law of the land." Even Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) has assigned staff to research bump stocks and stated he would consider hearings on the issue. Democrats have introduced House (H.R. 3999) and Senate (S. 1916) bills to ban bump stocks, and Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL) has introduced a bipartisan bill in the House as well. As Dianne Feinstein, lead sponsor of the Senate bump stock ban bill, commented, "The only reason to modify a gun is to kill as many people as possible in as short a time as possible." Congress must act quickly to close the bump stock loophole. "