The National Rifle Association (NRA) announced on Wednesday that it is opposing recently introduced legislation, banning “bump stocks,” and other implements which increase the rate of fire for semi-automatic firearms.
A spokesperson for the NRA’s Institute for the Legislative Action said, “We are opposed to the Feinstein and Curbelo legislation.”
The legislation that was introduced by the representative Carlos Curbelo, and was cosponsored by the 10 representatives from each of the party was the legislative response to the Las Vegas shooting incident. The incident took 58 innocent lives and hundreds of injured, and investigations of the scene showed many rifles that were altered and equipped with “bump stocks”, that enabled the rifle to shoot multiple shots, approaching the rate of a machine guns.
Instead banning and confiscating “bump stocks” the NRA is seeking a law that simply enhances the licensing requirements needed for people to own and acquire such devices.
The Feintein-Curbelo bill states, “It shall be unlawful for any person—in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, to manufacture, possess, or transfer any part or combination of parts that is designed and functions to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but does not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun or to manufacture, possess, or transfer any such part or combination of parts that have been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.”
In its present formulation, the NRA is concerned that it will effectively ban manufacture, sale, or possession of aftermarket triggers, bolts, or any other components that may have any effect – no matter how slight- on the increasing a rifle’s rate of fires.
Curbelo, in a statement said, “For the first time in decades, there is growing bipartisan consensus for sensible gun policy, a polarizing issue that has deeply divided Republicans and Democrats. This common-sense legislation will ban devices that blatantly circumvent already existing law without restricting Second Amendment rights.”
Representative Seth Moulton a colleague of Curbelo said that the Congress could do more on the issue, but the bill can be called a “crucial starting point.”
“I am proud to be leading on the only bipartisan effort to take action in the wake of this tragedy. We can always be doing more, but this bill is a crucial starting point. Congress needs to take a serious look, after every crisis, at whether a law consistent with the Second Amendment would have prevented it. It is time for Democrats and Republicans alike to find the courage to act,” said Representative Moulton in a statement.
Senator Dianne Feinstein who introduced the bills of similar wording in previous years, said that the calls from the NRA and others for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to reexamine the legality of the bump fire stocks were simply not enough.
“The ATF lacks authority under the law to ban bump fire stocks,” she said. “Period. The agency made this crystal clear in a 2013 letter to Congress, writing that ‘stocks of this type are not subject to the provisions of federal firearms statutes.’ Legislation is the only answer and Congress shouldn’t attempt to pass the buck.”