CT Lawmakers Want to Ban Bump Stocks After Las Vegas Massacre - NECN

CT Lawmakers Want to Ban Bump Stocks After Las Vegas Massacre

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As the FBI investigates the Las Vegas mass shooting, authorities will look at whether the gunman used an accessory that makes semi-automatic guns shoot like fully automatic weapons.

    (Published Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017)

    As the FBI investigates the Las Vegas mass shooting, authorities will look at whether the gunman used an accessory that makes semi-automatic guns shoot like fully automatic weapons.

    "Obviously we need to plug this loophole. We saw firsthand in Las Vegas the great threat that poses and we need to move quickly," State Rep. Matt Lesser told NBC Connecticut.

    Bump stock kits are legal and typically cost a few hundred dollars. Some lawmakers are already saying they need to take a second look at the law following the deadly Las Vegas shooting.

    "We need to broaden this to make sure it's covered," Lesser said. 

    Nearly two dozen guns were recovered in Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock's hotel room and officials said they also found a pair of bump stocks.

    "To convert a legal semi-automatic into a weapon that sort of behaves like an automatic rifle," Lesser said.

    They're legal across the country as long as the firearms they're attached to are legal.

    State police said if someone unlawfully possesses or converts a semiautomatic into an automatic weapon that it would violate Connecticut law.

    But lawmakers said the bump stock is a loophole because it is an accessory or add-on. 

    Lesser does not recall bump stocks being discussed when he helped change Connecticut gun laws into some of the toughest nationwide following the school shooting in Sandy Hook. He told NBC Connecticut that if he knew about them during the time the bill was drafted, he would've "absolutely" added them to the legislation.  

    Lesser plans to introduce legislation banning bump stocks and he's hoping for bipartisan support.

    "It’s been clear since 1934 that we don't want machine guns in the hands of criminals and terrorists and others who want to do us harm. We just saw heartbreakingly in Las Vegas the danger that poses to society and we got to make sure our laws are updated to reflect that," Lesser said. 

    The president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, Scott Wilson, called bump stocks gimmicky devices and said evil will always find a way. 

    "We have no position on bump fire stocks or any other components really, that may have been used at this time until we get some more information from investigators. I think it's premature to be talking about bans on any component without the knowledge on what the killer used," Wilson said. "These types of stocks are gimmicky components that waste ammunition more than have any real use for."

    The sheriff in Las Vegas said they'll be sending the bump stocks to the FBI for evaluation.