How can this not be the time to act? We hear that tired old talking point from the president and the Republicans over and over again. Was the time after the mass shooting in Columbine high school, where 13 died? Was it after a gunman mowed down 49 people in a nightclub? What about after Sandy Hook, when a man blasted apart 20 six- and seven-year-olds? Senator Dianne Feinstein has the answer.
The California Democratic senator has long fought for stricter gun control. After the mass shooting in Las Vegas where a lone gunman shot and killed 58 people and injured another 500, Feinstein had enough. The shooter did not have automatic weapons, which is illegal. He just had bump-stocks which allowed semi-automatics to function as automatic guns, which were legal.
Feinstein, along with 24 other Democrats, introduced a bill Wednesday to ban not only the sale of bump-stocks, but also to make it illegal to have one in a person’s possession. During her announcement, the senator told ABC News:
‘After Sandy Hook where 20 first graders were slaughtered, I thought for sure we would act…we cannot do nothing.’
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and explosives (ATF), the Las Vegas shooter had multiple bump stocks in his hotel room. These bump stocks allowed him to pick off concert goers at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival Sunday for nine full minutes. Police recovered 47 guns with high-capacity magazines in the gunman’s hotel room and home.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said talking about gun laws was “particularly inappropriate,” CBS News reported:
‘I think it’s particularly inappropriate to politicize an event like this. The investigation’s not even been completed. And I think it’s premature to be discussing legislative solutions if there are any. In the meantime, our priority is on tax reform, as my colleagues have indicated.’
ABC obtained a copy of the bill which read in part:
‘It shall be unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a trigger crank, a bump-fire device or any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun.’
Feinstein authored an assault weapons ban bill in 2013, but it failed 40 to 60 in the Senate. The ban of this device looks like an easier lift, particularly now.
U.S. agencies and departments would not be affected by the sales or possession of bump stocks.
Check out this video Senator Feinstein announcing her bill via CBS San Francisco Bay:
Featured Image via CBS San Francisco Bay Screen Shot.