Bump stocks, or attachments that increase the rate of fire in a semi-automatic weapon, have come under fire from elected officials and agencies across the United States in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern history.
The attachment moves a semi-automatic gun much closer to fully automatic operation.
The conversation on bump stocks started after it was revealed the shooter responsible for the Las Vegas attack used the modification device on 12 weapons.
The shooter opened fire on concertgoers and killed 59 people and injured more than 500 in less than 15 minutes, the rate of fire setting this incident apart for other mass shootings.
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Gun control — a complicated and passionate issue for those on all sides of the debate — moved to the forefront of public policy this week.
But something different has happened this time: There is a bipartisan agreement on regulating, or possibly banning, the sale of bump stocks.
Texas Republican John Cornyn, the No. 2 in the Senate, made a departure from the GOP’s general antipathy to gun regulations of any kind when he called for Congress to take a look at the modifications. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, called for a federal ban.
Even the National Rifle Association says “bump stock” devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to perform more like fully automatic weapons should be subject to additional regulations.
“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” the association said.
This week Walmart and Cabela’s appeared to have stopped selling bump-stock devices on their websites.
A targeted approach of banning the aftermarket modification devices could be effective.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that machine guns are outside of our Second Amendment rights. An accessory that for all intents and purposes creates a facsimile should be as well. Bipartisan support, including an indication this week from the Trump administration that it’s open to reviewing ATF policy, should move us forward on this issue. And quickly.