weather icon Clear

Titus, Democrats introduce bill to ban sale of bump stocks

Updated October 4, 2017 - 7:25 pm

WASHINGTON — As President Donald Trump met with the victims and heroes of Sunday’s mass shooting, Rep. Dina Titus “personally delivered” to White House staff a letter inviting him to meet with the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, a group established by the Democratic Caucus after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

“You have the power to make real change in America and protect our communities from the senseless gun violence like we saw in Las Vegas,” she wrote. “Together, we can find common ground that respects and supports the 2nd Amendment while keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not have them — criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.”

Immediately after Sunday’s shooting, Democratic and Republican members of the Nevada congressional delegation shied away from gun politics and stuck to public statements of sympathy and solidarity with victims. By delivering a letter to White House staff and publicizing it, Titus moved the issue squarely into the partisan arena.

Titus also introduced a measure to ban bump stocks and other devices used to speed up the rounds per minute that semi-automatic weapons can fire.

According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a dozen of the 23 firearms found in shooter Stephen Paddock’s Mandalay Bay hotel suite were equipped with bump stocks.

“I am introducing this legislation in hopes of closing this dangerous loophole and ensuring that civilians cannot modify their guns to fire nine bullets per second,” said Titus. “This is the least that we can do.”

Nevada’s other two Democrats in the House — Reps. Ruben J. Kihuen and Jacky Rosen — announced their support for the measure. The lone Republican, Rep. Mark Amodei, who was not listed as a supporter, was on a plane and unable to give his position as of this writing.

The Titus bill serves as a companion to a measure announced earlier in the day by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who revealed that her daughter, retired judge Katherine Feinstein Mariano, almost attended the Route 91 Harvest festival. “That’s how close it came to me,” Feinstein said.

Feinstein’s office released a list of more than 20 co-sponsors, including Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev. There were no Republicans on the roster; without Republican support, the measure has no chance of passing the Senate.

While GOP support is not likely, it is not impossible. Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson told The Hill he could support Feinstein’s bill.

“The fact that fully automatic weapons are already illegal and this makes another weapon capable (of automatic fire), I would be supportive of that,” said the Wisconsin Republican.

Johnson added the caveat, “unless I’m missing something here, but I don’t think I am.”

Gun Owners of America, however, released a statement in which Executive Director Erich Pratt said, “Feinstein is no stranger to placing restrictions on Second Amendment freedoms, as she was the original sponsor of the so-called ‘assault weapons’ ban in the 1990s. But bump stocks were approved by the Obama administration to help gun owners with disabilities fire their weapons.”

The government did approve the sale of bump stocks in 2010.

Feinstein was the author of the 1994 federal assault weapons ban passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton. The law had a 10-year life span and expired in 2004.

After the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting that left 26 dead, Feinstein introduced a new assault weapons ban; it failed in the Senate by a 20-vote margin.

Pratt gave voice to the wariness many gun supporters feel toward what they see as encroachment of their Second Amendment rights. “Any type of ban will be ignored by criminals and only serve to disarm honest citizens,” he wrote.

In his visit to Las Vegas to meet victims’ families and thank first responders, President Donald Trump refused to discuss whether the country has a “gun violence problem.”

“We’re not going to talk about that today,” Trump said. “We won’t talk about that.”

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
US alleges visa fraud scheme targeting American research

WASHINGTON — A Chinese government employee was arrested Monday after the Justice Department linked him to a visa fraud scheme intended to help others enter the United States to recruit research talent.