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Bipartisan bill filed to ban sale, manufacture of bump stocks

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan bill to ban the sale and manufacture of bump stocks — devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to fire at an accelerated rate — was filed Tuesday in the House.

Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., filed the legislation, citing the Oct. 1 tragedy on the Strip.

It is the third piece of legislation filed in Congress in response to the attack.

“We can always be doing more, but this bill is a crucial starting point,” Moulton said.

Curbelo said that, for the first time in decades, “there is a growing bipartisan consensus for sensible gun policy, a polarizing issue that has deeply divided Republicans and Democrats.”

The bill’s original co-sponsors include 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats, among them Reps. Ruben Kihuen and Jacky Rosen, both Nevada Democrats.

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., said she is working with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., on another piece of legislation that would impose the strictest regulation to “these kinds of dangerous devices.”

A gun control debate in Congress has focused mainly on bump stocks, which were used by Stephen Paddock, who equipped some semi-automatic rifles with the devices before opening fire from his Mandalay Bay suite and into a crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest country music concert.

The shooting left 58 people dead and hundreds of others injured.

The bump stock accessory allows semi-automatic rifles to fire bursts of bullets near the speed of a fully automatic weapon.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has filed a bill in the Senate that would ban bump stocks and other devices that increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic weapons. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., is a co-sponsor of that bill.

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., have urged the Trump administration, through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, to review current laws and regulations and determine if more stringent policy should apply instead of legislation.

The National Rifle Association, the largest group in the gun rights lobby, supports an administration review and tighter regulations but opposes a legislative ban on the bump stock devices.

Meanwhile, a national gun control group has joined forces in a class-action lawsuit against a bump stock manufacturer.

The litigation, filed last week in the Clark County District Court, focuses on those who survived the massacre and escaped without injury yet may suffer from emotional distress.

“We’ve come to a place in America where thousands of people who simply wanted to attend a music festival will now have to live with psychological injury because of the guilt they feel in what they experienced because they walked out of that festival alive,” Jonathan Lowy, chief litigator with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, told reporters gathered at the Eglet Prince law firm in downtown Las Vegas on Tuesday. “Think about that for a minute.”

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from bump stock manufacturer Slide Fire Solutions LP.

Neither representatives of Slide Fire Solutions nor inventor Jeremiah Cottle, an Air Force veteran, could be reached for comment this week. The company’s website stated that new orders for the device have been “temporarily suspended.”

Contact Gary Martin at 202-662-7390 or gmartin@reviewjournal.com. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter. Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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