By Cailyn Carr 11/13/17

Courtesy of Creative Commons

A Massachusetts Congressman is pushing to ban bump stocks. Democratic Representative Seth Moulton called for a hearing and a vote on a bill that would ban bump stocks.

A bump stock is an attachment that allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire rapidly by harnessing energy from the kickback. A weapon with a bump stock can fire nearly as fast as a fully-automatic firearm. Twelve of the rifles used by the gunman in the Las Vegas shooting last month were equipped with bump stocks. Bump stocks are legal under federal law.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he prefers a regulatory fix rather than a law banning bump stocks. Ryan claimed that the issue of bump stocks should be handled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Moulton disagreed and told WBZ News that Ryan needs to “do the right thing” and “allow a vote on this bipartisan bill.”

Massachusetts became the first state to ban bump stocks following the massacre in Las Vegas. The Massachusetts House of Representatives approved the bill just ten days after the shooting and Governor Charlie Baker signed it into law shortly after. The ban will take effect in January of 2018, 90 days after it was made law.

Moulton also criticized what he called the “systemic problem” of improper reporting when it comes to gun ownership. The military did not report the Las Vegas gunman’s dishonorable discharge, which would have barred him from owning a firearm. Moulton said that this is a problem “not just with the Air Force” but nationwide and, if fixed, could prevent gun deaths like those in Las Vegas.