WASHINGTON, D.C. ― Thursday U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) introduced a bill to prohibit the sale of bump stock devices and other mechanisms which allow semi-automatic firearms to materially increase their rate of fire and effectively operate as fully automatic weapons.
A bump stock was used by the shooter during the Oct. 1, 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting which resulted in the deaths of 59 people, including the gunman.
“There’s no possible defense for anyone owning bump stock devices or any other devices that take a semi-automatic firearm and allow it to be used as an automatic firearm,” Heinrich said. “We need pragmatic gun law reforms to end mass shootings that are devastating our communities and this is one of them.”
“Fully automatic weapons have been justifiably illegal for civilian use for over thirty years. Any device which circumvents that law by increasing a weapon’s rate of fire from semi-automatic to fully automatic ought to be illegal as well,” Flake said. “I am encouraged by the president’s directive to the Department of Justice to regulate these devices, but a temporary regulatory fix is no substitute for permanent law.”
“The deadliest shooting in modern American history was due in large part to bump stocks, a device designed to inflict the most number of casualties in the shortest amount of time,” Cortez Masto said. “Our public spaces are becoming war zones because it is legal to simply walk into a store and buy a device that turns a semi-automatic weapon into a full-on machine gun. Congress must act immediately and ban bump stocks as we work to help save lives and prevent senseless gun violence.”
Heinrich is fighting for real solutions to reduce gun violence in our communities. Earlier this week, Heinrich introduced bipartisan legislation with U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) to keep guns from terrorists.
Heinrich is also a cosponsor of the bipartisan Fix NICS Act led by U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to ensure federal and state authorities comply with existing law and accurately report relevant criminal history records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
A copy of the bump stock legislation is available here.