Washington, D.C., November 28, 2018 – A little over one year after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, survivors and victims’ families continue to wait on the Trump Administration to announce a final ruling banning bump stocks and similar accessories, the device used by the Las Vegas shooter to effectively turn his semi-automatic rifles into automatic ones. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which has fought for bump stocks and other such accessories to be properly regulated long before the shooting, called again for Congress to act now in the lame duck session.
Kris Brown, President of the Brady Campaign, stated,
“It has been more than a year since a shooter, amidst a room filled with assault rifles, used bump stocks to make those already dangerous weapons even more deadly. He fired 1,100 shots in just 11 minutes, killing 58 people and injuring more than 600 others. Machine guns have long been regulated under the National Firearms Act. The ATF should not have let aftermarket accessories that turn AR-15-style weapons into the functional equivalent of machine guns be sold in stores and online without even running a background check. And with every day that passes without firm action to ban bump stocks from the market, the victims and survivors of the Las Vegas shooting are dishonored.
“Even if and when the Trump Administration issues a final ruling to ban bump stocks, there is no doubt the gun lobby will challenge the rule, because it sues over almost every sensible gun law. That could throw the rule into a holding pattern for years of litigation. Too many uncertainties remain. The only way to ensure that bump stocks - and any other dangerous firearm attachment - are properly and permanently regulated is for Congress to take action. We call on Congressional leaders to officially and definitively classify bump stocks as illegal machine guns. We’ve already waited too many days, and we cannot wait one more when lives are at stake.”
For years, well before the Las Vegas shooting, Congress failed to take action to ban bump stocks.
- In 2013, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced legislation that would have banned all semi-automatic weapons that used, among other “military features,” detachable bump stocks. Congress failed to act on it and some in Congress have falsely claimed they knew nothing about the devices and the threat they posed to the public. In the days following the Las Vegas massacre, emails from the ATF reveal that even high-ranking officials at the agency were confused as to whether or not bump stocks were permitted for public purchase and use.
- Two months after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in February 2013, Senator Feinstein opened a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing by running two videos of a person illustrating the deadly threat that bump stocks specifically posed to the public.
- President Donald Trump has ordered a ban on bump stocks multiple times in 2018, including six days after the Parkland massacre in February 2018, and a day before the March for Our Lives in March. He has also tweeted multiple times about the need to ban bump stocks.
- To date, only 11 states have banned bump stocks. A recent AP review of gun safety legislation at the state level found that gun rights activists have actively lobbied to block proposed bans in many other states.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.