GOP lawmaker to unveil bill banning gun bump stocks

GOP lawmaker to unveil bill banning gun bump stocks
© Greg Nash

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) plans to introduce bipartisan legislation to ban a device used by the Las Vegas shooter that makes semi-automatic weapons fire more rapidly. 

Legislation to ban bump stocks has gathered bipartisan support over the past few days following Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Curbelo, a centrist, hopes to file a bill in the next day or two, spokeswoman Joanna Rodriguez said Wednesday.

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While GOP lawmakers made clear in recent days that they don’t plan on taking up expansive gun reforms in response to the shooting, some have indicated openness to addressing the use of bump stocks, which help semi-automatic rifles mimic automatic weapons. Curbelo joins a growing number of Republicans who have expressed support for prohibiting the devices.

The Sunday shooting was the deadliest in modern U.S. history with 59 dead and more than 500 wounded.

Earlier Wednesday, Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonJuan Williams: Putin wins as GOP spins GOP senator: Harley-Davidson is right to move some production overseas GOP senator: Trump’s policies doing 'permanent damage' MORE (R-Wis.) said he would likely support legislation banning bump stocks.

The devices work by using the recoil of a semi-automatic rifle to rapidly press the trigger against a station finger.

“The fact that fully automatic weapons are already illegal and this makes another weapon capable [of automatic-like fire], I would be supportive of that,” Johnson said.

Rep. Bill FloresWilliam (Bill) Hose FloresGOP leaders jockey for affection of House conservatives Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus House GOP leaders push immigration vote to next week MORE (R-Texas), a former Republican Study Committee chairman and gun owner, also expressed support for the idea.

"I think they should be banned. There's no reason for a typical gun owner to own anything that converts a semi-automatic to something that behaves like an automatic," Flores told The Hill.

Multiple Democrats in the House and Senate have already introduced legislation to ban bump stocks.

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump, Putin meet under cloud of Mueller’s Russia indictments Dems launch pressure campaign over migrant families California Dems endorse progressive challenger over Feinstein MORE (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is spearheading the version in the upper chamber.

Reps. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineSparks fly at hearing on anti-conservative bias in tech Live coverage: FBI agent defends anti-Trump texts in tense hearing Congress can protect midterm elections with the Disclose Act MORE (D-R.I.) and Dina Titus (D-Nev.), who represents Las Vegas, introduced similar legislation on Wednesday.

“No person should possess a device that turns a semi-automatic rifle into the equivalent of a machine gun," Cicilline said in a statement.

Current law already bans the purchase of fully automatic weapons manufactured after 1986.