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Titus reintroduces bump stock ban legislation

Updated January 17, 2023 - 4:37 pm

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., reintroduced legislation that would ban bump stocks after a recent federal appeals court ruling blocked a ban put forward during the Trump administration.

Titus, a member of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, alongside Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., and Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., introduced the Closing the Bump Stock Loophole Act on Tuesday, which would codify a permanent ban of bump stocks into law by requiring the devices to be treated like machine guns, which are subject to strict regulations, according to a statement from Titus’ office.

Bump stocks, devices that are attached to semiautomatic rifles to rapidly increase the rate of fire to that approaching a fully automatic rifle, were used by the gunman who killed more than 58 people and injured hundreds in Las Vegas in October 2017 at the Route 91 Harvest music festival. Gunman Stephen Paddock attached bump stocks to 13 semi-automatic rifles when he opened fire on the festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino before eventually taking his own life.

In response, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in December 2018 modified its regulations to classify bump stocks similarly to fully automatic weapons, which are restricted by federal law. But that rule was challenged in federal court, and while some appeals courts upheld the rule, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans struck down the rule, saying in part that gun control measures were the province of Congress and not the executive branch.

Now, lawmakers fear the bump stock ban could go before the U.S. Supreme Court, which could overturn it nationwide.

Titus also introduced the legislation in the last congressional session. While it passed the House as a provision in the Safer Communities Act, it failed under Senate Republicans, who took the provision out of the package. Titus’ staffers are optimistic that with bipartisan sponsorship, the legislation can pass this time around.

“Over five years after the deadliest mass shooting in our nation’s history occurred in my district, we still have not permanently outlawed bump stocks,” said Titus in the statement. “We must reverse the unfortunate trend of inaction in Congress on gun violence prevention. If we do nothing, especially in light of recent judicial action, we risk allowing the use of bump stocks to be legal and more lives to be lost.”

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.

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