A Bipartisan Bid To Ban Bump Stocks

Hillary Clinton

It's called the bump stock, and it's a device that some gun owners use to modify semiautomatic rifles to make them fire faster, nearly as fast as a fully automatic rifle.

But a spokesman Rob Doar says the effect could be minimal - it's never been used in a crime before Las Vegas. North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann reports.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: That Slide Fire stock - we're out here to have fun today.

The difference between semi-automatic weapons and automatic weapons is what happens when you pull the trigger.

"Ultimately, when Congress ... looks at this, they'll start asking questions about why anybody needs this, and I think the answer is we have a Bill of Rights and not a Bill of Needs", Pratt said.

In Nevada, where gun laws are particularly lax and enforcement more so, it would have been easy for Paddock to accumulate all the guns he had unnoticed.

The assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk suddenly vaulted Feinstein into the national spotlight and launched a career of fighting for tighter controls on guns. Some states have laws specifically restricting machine guns, but most don't.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., said Thursday that lawmakers will consider further rules for the devices, which allow legal semiautomatic rifles to fire as rapidly as more heavily restricted automatic weapons. A user, however, can buy an low-priced bump stock and shoot at a rate of 400 to 800 rounds a minute. Technically, that means the finger is pulling the trigger for each round fired, keeping the weapon a legal semi-automatic. Popular gun enthusiast Jerry Miculek posted this video of himself testing a hand-cranked device like a little Gatling gun.

"I like to see legislation before I comment on it", said Sen.

Republicans' openness to learn more about the idea is a far cry from the staunch opposition most have held in recent years to proposals that would regulate firearms.

Man Killed at Manhattan Building Under Construction
A man has been fatally shot at a construction site on Manhattan's West Side, and police say they are searching for the gunman. His last arrest was in 2005. "He calls me "Old G" because I'm an old man, then he goes about his business".

Earlier this week, Trump appeared open to discussion on new gun control measures, but said enough time had not passed since the rampage to open up the conversation.

But after the shooting in Las Vegas, Sen.

TOM COLE: Well, when I heard the - saw the clips and heard the fire, I just assumed he had an automatic weapon. "I know what guns can do".

ART NETHERTON: It is not for any nefarious objective. "You can go to Youtube and give reviews about particular ones".

Gun right activists and gun control advocates parse the language differently.

MANN: That's part of the appeal.

The spread was similar when it comes to banning high-capacity magazines, with 74 percent of non-gun owners and 44 percent of gun owners in favor. They love the thrill of shooting fast. The gunman, Omar Mateen, used at least two guns, including a semiautomatic AR-15-style assault rifle.

Bump Fire Systems said on its Facebook page its website is struggling to cope with the high demand. "Many people are just learning about these bump stocks", he told NPR. And some big national sporting goods chains like Cabela's have also been selling them. Portman said later - after the Pulse shootings - that he could support such a bill as long as people who were on the list by mistake could remove themselves from it. Critics accused him of flip-flopping in an election year.

He had also conducted internet searches in Boston, reported the Boston Globe, raising the prospect that Paddock may have been plotting more attacks.

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