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 JohnsonGOP senators divided over approach to election security Democrats make U-turn on calling border a 'manufactured crisis' GOP frets about Trump's poll numbers 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 FloresOvernight Energy: GOP lawmaker parodies Green New Deal in new bill | House Republicans accuse Dems of ramming through climate bill | Park Service chief grilled over shutdown House Republicans accuse Dems of ramming through climate bill Seven Republicans vote against naming post office after ex-Rep. Louise Slaughter 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 FeinsteinYoung activists press for change in 2020 election The Hill's Morning Report — US strikes approved against Iran pulled back Democrats want White House hopefuls to cool it on Biden attacks MORE (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is spearheading the version in the upper chamber.

Reps. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHillicon Valley: House panel advances election security bill | GOP senator targets YouTube with bill on child exploitation | Hicks told Congress Trump camp felt 'relief' after release of Clinton docs | Commerce blacklists five Chinese tech groups Judiciary Democrat says small firms fear retaliation from big tech in antitrust probe Hope Hicks: Trump campaign felt 'relief' after WikiLeaks released damaging info about Hillary Clinton 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.