A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation to regulate a firearm accessory used in the Las Vegas shooting.
Introduced on Tuesday, the bill would place some restrictions on the manufacture and sale of “bump stocks,” which harness the recoil of semi-automatic firearms to increase rates of fire. The legislation is authored by Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Dan Kildee (D-MI) and Dave Trott (D-MI).
Instead of banning the devices outright, the representatives’ proposal would require consumers who own or purchase a bump stock to register themselves with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The process, The Hill reports, “would include a background check, finger printing and a $200 registration fee.”
“Anyone who wants a device that modifies a firearm to shoot hundreds of rounds per minute should undergo thorough background checks and oversight. Congress must take meaningful action to address this national epidemic. We cannot stand in silence any longer,” said Titus, who represents an area encompassing the City of Las Vegas.
“We must do everything in our power to prevent the kind of evil we see in horrifying incidents like the Las Vegas shootings, and resolve as a nation to confront this evil through meaningful, bipartisan legislative action and an ongoing commitment to keep our communities safe from gun violence,” added Fitzpatrick – a former FBI agent and gun crimes prosecutor, according to The Hill.
While the purchase and possession of fully automatic weapons have been restricted for over 30 years, bump stocks are legal devices which allow consumers to outfit firearms to fire rapidly.
Another bipartisan bill floating in the House would prohibit the manufacture, sale, and use of bump stocks, as well as any similar devices. That bill currently has three sponsors and 24 co-sponsors, about half of whom are Republicans.
Despite the support from both parties, The Hill opines that GOP leaders are unlikely to move in favor of any gun control bills.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said he felt the ATF should be responsible for overseeing any ban or regulation on bump stocks and similar devices.
“We think the regulatory fix is the smartest, quickest fix, and I’d frankly like to know how it happened in the first place,” said Ryan.
Interestingly, the National Rifle Association has supported additional regulations on bump stocks.
However, the NRA hasn’t actively petitioned for any legislation. Representative of the organization also seem in favor of a regulatory fix – perhaps to avoid gun control becoming the subject of a congressional debate.