Attorneys general: bump stocks can mimic fully automatic weapons firing, lead to “disastrous consequences in the wrong hands”
DES MOINES – Expressing extreme concern about the role “bump stocks” played in the recent Las Vegas tragedy, Attorney General Tom Miller today joined a bipartisan group of attorneys general in urging Congressional leaders to close a loophole in current federal gun laws.
The letter, signed by attorneys general of 29 states, the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories, notes that bump stock devices – a firearm stock attachment designed to increase the ability of a semiautomatic rifle to fire faster and at a rate closer to that of a fully automatic weapon – may be used to evade machine gun laws that are currently in place.
It has been widely reported that the Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock, modified otherwise lawful semi-automatic rifles with “bump stocks” to kill 58 people and injure hundreds more. The attorneys general urge Congress to regulate bump stocks like machine guns in order to protect residents from the dangers posed by unrestricted fully automatic weapons.
Since 1986, when Congress enacted the Firearm Owners Protection Act to amend the Gun Control Act of 1968, restricting fully automatic weapons and “machineguns.” It is unlawful for civilians to possess a machine gun unless the owner acquired the firearm prior to the law’s enactment.
According to the letter, bump stocks can “mimic fully automatic machinegun fire and therefore lead to disastrous consequences in the wrong hands.” The attorneys general also added that Congress “should carefully consider whether bump stocks have created a loophole in the machinegun laws” when considering any new laws.