Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today issued the following statement on the need for legislation to address bump stocks:
“It’s encouraging that a number of congressional Republicans have signaled they’re open to banning devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine guns. It’s also clear that we need legislation to do so.
“Automatic weapons are defined by their ability to fire a continuous number of rounds by pressing the trigger once and holding it down.
“Unfortunately, technology has made this definition largely obsolete. Accessories like bump fire stocks now allow semi-automatic weapons to achieve a fully-automatic rate off fire without holding the trigger down. And it does so without altering the trigger mechanism, meaning it doesn’t run afoul of the law. The ATF in 2010 made clear that it did not have the authority to regulate bump stocks under the Gun Control Act or National Firearms Act.
“Federal regulations won’t be able to fully close this loophole. As far as we know, the Las Vegas shooter passed background checks and legally purchased his weapons. That means merely regulating bump stocks wouldn’t have necessarily prevented the gunman from outfitting his weapons as he did.
“Legislation would make crystal clear that Congress is banning all devices that allow a weapon to achieve an automatic rate of fire, regardless of how a weapon is altered. Such legislation can and will save lives, and Congress should act immediately.”