News Releases

Legislation would ban, among other devices, the bump stocks used in the Las Vegas mass shooting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and a number of their Senate colleagues introduced the Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act, a bill to close a deadly loophole that allows semi-automatic weapons to be easily modified to fire at the rate of automatic weapons, which have been illegal for more than 30 years.

In addition to Senators Murray and Cantwell, cosponsors include Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ed Markey (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bob Casey (D-PA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tom Carper (D-DE), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

“It’s past time this Congress pursued common sense policies to address the rampant gun violence in this country, and this legislation is a good place to start,” said Murray. “Like so many people I’ve heard from over the past few days, I refuse to believe the politics are just too tough to do whatever is possible to prevent another senseless, horrific mass shooting like we just saw in Las Vegas.”

“We must close this loophole that allows the sale of devices to convert guns into unlawful automatic weapons meant for war zones,” said Cantwell.

Under the National Firearms Act, the sale, manufacture and transfer of automatic weapons are illegal. However, bump stocks, slide fire devices, and other similar accessories can be attached to semi-automatic weapons, allowing them to reach fully-automatic rates of fire.

Semi-automatic rifles typically have a rate of fire between 45 and 60 rounds per minute. However, bump stocks or other similar devices increase the semi-automatic rifle's rate of fire between 400 and 800 rounds per minute.

This bill would ban the sale, transfer, importation, manufacture or possession of bump stocks, trigger cranks and similar accessories that accelerate a semi-automatic rifle’s rate of fire.

The bill also makes clear that its intent is to include only those accessories that increase a semi-automatic rifle’s rate of fire. Legitimate accessories used by hunters would be exempt. The bill also contains exceptions for lawful possession of these devices by law enforcement and the government.

Senators Murray and Cantwell continue to support common sense proposals for reducing gun violence, such as background checks on private sales for gun purchasers.