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 JohnsonWhite House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration GOP senator says Republicans didn't control Senate when they held majority GOP senator voices concern about Trump order, hasn't decided whether he'll back it 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 FloresRep. Mike Johnson wins race for RSC chairman GOP approves rule for Don Young Texas lawmaker: GOP facing funding disadvantage 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 FeinsteinFeinstein says she thinks Biden will run after meeting with him Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao seeks to clarify past remarks on date rape Bottom Line MORE (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is spearheading the version in the upper chamber.

Reps. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineForeign Affairs chairman: US military intervention in Venezuela 'not an option' Greedy tort bar tarts up the CREATES Act Whitaker takes grilling from House lawmakers 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.