Sen. Dianne Feinstein, hardly a supporter of the Second Amendment, is using the emotional momentum of a national tragedy to advance her political agenda. The senator introduced a bill Wednesday that she hopes will result in banning sale and possession of accessories that increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic firearms.
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Reports now indicate that Stephen Paddock had 23 firearms in the hotel room at the Mandalay Bay. Twelve of those were rifles that had been equipped with bump-fire stocks made by Slide Fire. These devices essentially allow an AR-15 to bounce back and forth against a shooter’s trigger finger. They are meant to replicate automatic fire.
Within the industry, these devices are considered novelties. Shooters who want to experience the sights and sounds of full-auto fire can use them to replicate the experience. They are cumbersome, though, and aiming is almost impossible. Yet at the distances Paddock was shooting from, and the size of the crowd below him, aiming hardly mattered.
Now Feinstein wants the devices, and other accessories, outlawed.
A copy of the bill text was provided to ABC.
“It shall be unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a trigger crank, a bump-fire device or any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun,” the bill reads.
That language is very complicated. While bump fire stocks will be illegal, so will many other accessories. Worse, it seems like much of the language leaves grey areas open for interpretation.
“Some have said we shouldn’t do this now,” Feinstein said. “Now is not the time. When is the time going to be there? There is no better way to honor the 59 people who were slaughtered than to take action.”
President Trump, who was in Las Vegas Wednesday, has implied that he’s open to talking more about gun laws later, but not during the healing process. While he is visiting the crime-scene, though, 26 Democrats have signed on in support of the new attempt at gun control.