2017-10-12 / News

Reed, Cicilline sponsor legislation to outlaw bump stocks from guns

— U.S. Sen. Jack Reed — U.S. Sen. Jack Reed U.S. Sen. Jack Reed and Congressman David Cicilline are leading the way to ban the manufacture, possession, transfer, sale and importation of bump stocks, which are firearm attachments that were used to kill 58 people last week in Las Vegas.

Reed, a Democrat from Jamestown, co-sponsored the so-called Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act last week with U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Cicilline, who represents Jamestown as part of Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District, sponsored the same act in the House of Representatives.

It would ban bump stocks, which are used to modify semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly — as many as 400 to 800 rounds per minute — from their typical 45 to 60 rounds per minute. Police said Stephen Paddock had 12 bump stocks attached to rifles in his hotel room where he carried out the mass shooting Oct. 1 at a country music concert. The federal government in 2010 approved the sale of bump stocks.

— U.S. Rep. David Cicilline — U.S. Rep. David Cicilline “There is widespread consensus that the sale of automatic machine guns — weapons of war designed to cause mass casualties — need to be well-regulated,” Reed said in a prepared statement. “And there should be strong, bipartisan consensus to close the bump stock loophole. Congress did nothing in response to Columbine, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Virginia Tech, San Bernardino and other mass shootings. It is sickening to stand by and just let the body counts rise and do nothing.”

Reed, who also has called for thorough background checks for all gun purchasers, said the bill’s intent is to target only those accessories that increase a semi-automatic rifle’s rate of fire. Legitimate accessories used by hunters would be exempt, he said. The bill also contains exceptions for lawful possession of these devices by law enforcement and the government.

Cicilline, who serves as vice chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, has been on several cable news programs advocating for the bill. He said this should be “an easy one” to pass.

“There are over 100 proposals pending in the Congress of the United States that would significantly reduce gun violence in this country,” he said on MSNBC. “And this is an opportunity, again, to encourage our Republican colleagues to come to the table, to work with us in a bipartisan way to actually move some of those.”

Cicilline also said Congress needs to pass universal background checks, make it more difficult for people with serious mental illness to buy guns, and keep guns out of the hands of criminals. But banning bump stocks, which turn rifles into “weapons of war,” is a good start, he said.

“The sole purpose of these devices is to fire as many bullets as possible as quickly as possible,” he said in a press release. “We cannot become a country where the carnage in Las Vegas becomes the new normal.”

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