Call to Ban Bump Stocks

Claire Sheppard, Copy Editor

The Las Vegas shooting, which took place October 1, now endures the distinction of the deadliest attack in modern U.S. history. The last time this headline appeared was only last June. Banning “bump stocks” is a crucial start to making America safer.

On semi-automatic guns, the user must pull the trigger every time to fire a round of bullets, but on an automatic gun, as long as the trigger is held, or until the gun runs out of bullets, the gun will continuously fire.

A bump stock can be purchased for as little as $50. It is attached to the end of a gun and “bumps” back and forth, quickly pushing the trigger into the shooter’s fingers and releasing it, faster than a person could on their own. This can help explain how gunman Stephen Paddock was able to kill and injure so many people in such a short amount of time.

Bump stocks modify semi-automatic rifles to work as if they are machine guns.

At least twelve bump-fire stocks were found on Paddock’s firearms in his Las Vegas suite on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Paddock killed 59 and wounded 527 in just ten minutes.

Democrats have been advocates for stricter gun laws in the past, while Republicans generally have not been. However, since the attack, more Republicans have started to become more on-board with stricter gun laws.

Last Thursday, the National Rifle Association (NRA) called for “additional regulations” in regards to the purchase and use of bump stocks. However, they did not call for a complete ban.

There must be stricter laws on the use and purchases of bump stocks. We cannot wait until the next headline surfaces, informing us of a new shooting, resulting in even more of us killed.

A bill written by Reps. Carlos Curbelo, Republican, and Seth Moulton, Democrat, proposed the prohibition of the manufacture, sale, and use of bump stocks and other devices used to alter a semi-automatic weapon. This includes punishments for those who violate the proposed law.

“We can always be doing more, but this bill is a crucial starting point,” Moulton said. “Keeping this conversation going, passing this legislation, and listening to the American people will allow us to help make America safer.”

While Democrats have been favoring these stricter laws, members of the GOP remain uncertain in regards to this bill. Some have asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Explosives to ban bump stocks, rather than making a law to go through Congress.

As of now, only nine other Republicans have joined as co-sponsors, including Charlie Dent from PA.

We must do something for the safety of our country and people. A ban on bump stocks is a good way to start. Contact our representatives and let them know you want bump stocks banned: Charles Dent (R), at 202-225-6411, Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) at 202-224-6324, or Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA) at 202-224-4254. We need their support with the Curbelo-Moulton bill to ban bump stocks.