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Las Vegas Shooting Reopens Debate on Stricter Gun Control at Federal Level
The recent Las Vegas, Nevada mass shooting is already considered the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. With 59 people murdered and hundreds injured, the horrible event raised a number of issues but one in particular: the need for reevaluating gun control laws and regulations at the federal level.
Namely, what was shocking to many is that the Las Vegas shooter used semiautomatic rifles outfitted with a bump fire stock (bump stock for short) – an aftermarket rapid-fire tool that could be purchased online for as little as $99. Moreover, at the federal level, the device is legal. In California, however, bump stocks are considered illegal.
A bump-stock is a rapid fire device that enables a semiautomatic rifle to fire at near automatic speed, that is – almost like an automatic rifle. The stock and the pistol grip are removed from the semiautomatic and the bump stock modification is attached. It takes only a couple of minutes to make the alteration. The shooter pushes the front grip forward repeatedly to fire multiple shots.
Since a special license is required in order to carry an automatic weapon, the bump stock is one of the ways to bypass this regulation. The owner of a semiautomatic rifle can easily (and cheaply, too) outfit the rifle with a bump stock and get a rifle that can mimic the rapid fire of an automatic rifle. Technically, the rifle is still considered a semiautomatic, so the owner is not breaking the law.
In 2013, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., called for revisiting the ban on assault weapons, including a proposition to ban bump-fire stocks. The proposition was defeated but recent events have triggered the gun control debate once again, with Feinstein introducing a bill to ban bump-fire stock devices nationwide.
At the moment, 24 Democratic senators are co-sponsoring the bill, whereas the majority of Republican senators have shut it out, calling the ban ‘’premature’’. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. feels that it’s not only premature but also inappropriate to politicize the Las Vegas shooting, considering that the investigation is yet to be completed.
Additionally, few legislators and firearm experts are convinced that the proposed legislative solution could prevent a future event similar to the Las Vegas shooting. Still, the issue is being considered by a number of conservative Republican senators, so we’re yet to see the result of the debate.
In California, bump stocks are placed under the banned category of “multiple burst trigger activators”. There’s an ongoing debate whether the device is actually illegal in California, although it’s generally considered illegal. If you want to find out more about the legality of bump stocks or gun control laws in general, consult a criminal attorney San Diego residents trust. With the extensive knowledge of the law and a vast hands-on experience in criminal defense, a reliable San Diego criminal attorney can provide accurate information and interpret the regulations that relate directly to you.