Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Wednesday introduced the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act, a bill that would spell the end of bump stocks and any other accessory that increases the rate of fire of semiautomatic firearms.
“We’ve now witnessed the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, which saw nearly 600 people killed or injured. An American concert venue has now become a battlefield. We must stop this now,” Feinstein said in a statement.
“Automatic weapons have been illegal for more than 30 years, but there’s a loophole in the law that can be exploited to allow killers to fire at rates of between 400 and 800 rounds-per-minute,” she continued.
“The only reason to fire so many rounds so fast is to kill large numbers of people. No one should be able to easily and cheaply modify legal weapons into what are essentially machine guns,” Feinstein concluded.
First off, automatic weapons made prior to 1986 aren’t illegal, they’re just highly restricted under the NFA. Second, lawmakers can ban everything until the cows come home and a determined killer with a million-dollar bankroll and no criminal history, like the alleged shooter in Las Vegas, will procure a means to take innocent lives.
Yet, Feinstein and whole host of cosponsors including Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), among many others believe that banning the sale, transfer, importation, manufacture or possession of bump stocks, trigger cranks and other accessories will somehow make a difference.
Feinstein didn’t specify what would happen to the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of bump stocks and trigger cranks in circulation.
SEE ALSO: The Call to Ban Bump Stocks Has Begun
U.S. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) introduced a companion bill in the House.
The real question is whether Republicans will sign on to the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act. Already, we’re seeing signs that many might cave to the pressure, even amongst GOP leadership.
“I own a lot of guns, and as a hunter and sportsman, I think that’s our right as Americans, but I don’t understand the use of this bump stock,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Senate Majority Whip, told the NY Times.
“It seems like it’s an obvious area we ought to explore and see if it’s something Congress needs to act on,” he added.
GOP senators Lindsey Graham (SC), Orrin Hatch (UT) and Marco Rubio (FL) have also expressed interest in banning bump stocks.
“We certainly want to learn more details on what occurred in Las Vegas,” Mr. Rubio said, “and if there are vulnerabilities in federal law that we should be addressing to prevent such attacks in the future, we would always be open to that.”
On the House side, Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) was emphatic in his support for the bump stock ban.
“I think they should be banned,” Mr. Flores told the newspaper The Hill. “There’s no reason for a typical gun owner to own anything that converts a semiautomatic to something that behaves like an automatic.”
Rep. Mark Meadows who is the head of the conservative Freedom Caucus told reporters that he, too, would be open to reviewing the bill.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) also chimed in on the matter, saying it’s something that lawmakers should examine.
“Look, I didn’t even know what they were until this week, and I’m an avid sportsman,” said Ryan on Thursday.
“So, I think we’re quickly coming up to speed with what this is,” he continued. “Fully automatic weapons have been banned for a long time. Apparently this allows you to take a semiautomatic and turn it into a fully automatic so clearly that’s something we need to look into.”
This, my friends, is how it begins. If they can ban bump stocks and trigger cranks, what’s next? Pistol grips and muzzle brakes? Semiautomatic long guns and 10-plus round magazines? Autoloading pistols?
What’s crazy about all this is the speed at which things are happening. We’re only four days removed from the shooting. We don’t really even know what happened yet! The investigation is still ongoing, and yet our lawmakers are already in overdrive trying to kill suppressor deregulation and ban bump stocks.