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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 JohnsonGrassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus McConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Loeffler isolating after possible COVID-19 infection 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 FloresThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Calls mount to start transition as Biden readies Cabinet picks Hillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it 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 FeinsteinCriminal justice groups offer support for Durbin amid fight for Judiciary spot Bottom line Incoming Congress looks more like America MORE (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is spearheading the version in the upper chamber.

Reps. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineDemocrats were united on top issues this Congress — but will it hold? House Democrats pick Aguilar as No. 6 leader in next Congress Nominated for another Speaker term, Pelosi says it's her last 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.