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Cities and states take the lead on banning bump stocks

Posted: Feb 05, 2018 1:46 AM EST     Updated: Feb 05, 2018 12:19 PM EST

Naples Gun Shop & School - Cities and states take the lead on banning bump stocks

By LISA MARIE PANE
Associated Press

In the immediate aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, there was a fevered pitch to ban bump stocks, the device that allowed the shooter's semi-automatic rifles to mimic the rapid fire of machine guns.

With that push stalled at the federal level, a handful of states and some cities are moving ahead with bans of their own.

Massachusetts and New Jersey - two states led by Republican governors - as well as the cities of Denver and Columbia, South Carolina, have enacted laws prohibiting the sale and possession of the devices, which were attached to a half-dozen of the long guns found in the hotel room of the Las Vegas shooter who in October killed 58 people and injured hundreds more attending a nearby outdoor concert. A little over a dozen other states are also considering bans on bump stocks.

Gun-control advocates say the push fits a pattern in gun politics: inaction in Washington that forces states to take the lead. Gun-rights advocates call it a knee-jerk reaction that will do little to stop bad guys from killing, and vow a legal challenge.

For Zach Elmore, the issue is deeply personal. His sister among those wounded in the Las Vegas attack. He finds hope in the statewide and local efforts to ban bump stocks.

"Hopefully it's the start of a big movement versus just a flash in the pan," Elmore said. "Obviously you cannot legislate (against) evil, but you can legislate the things with which bad people will use to perpetrate evil."

The devices were originally intended to help people with disabilities and were little known and little sold until the Las Vegas shooting. They fit over the stock and pistol grip of a semi-automatic rifle and allow the weapon to fire rapidly, some 400 to 800 rounds per minute, mimicking a fully automatic firearm.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reviewed the devices and approved them in 2010, ruling they did not amount to machine guns that are regulated under the National Firearms Act that dates to the 1930s.

Richard Vasquez was assistant chief of the ATF's technology bureau and led the review of bump stocks. He stands by the agency's 2010 ruling, which relied on a key difference between semi-automatic and fully automatic firearms: While semi-automatic firearms require a separate and independent pull of the trigger to fire a bullet, fully automatic firearms can fire multiple rounds with a single trigger pull. ATF determined bump stocks didn't convert a semi-automatic firearm into one that is fully auto.

"It's a proper determination. Everybody wants to jump the gun and say that ATF made a mistake," said Vasquez, who left the agency in 2014. "ATF didn't make a mistake."

The federal agency is reviewing its ruling, something Vasquez and others caution is a dangerous move without Congress first changing the law to specifically make such devices illegal.

"If ATF is allowed to write a regulation to change the definition of this device, instead of a law, it's going to give all government agencies authority to change their regulations, which could affect us in a wide variety of ways," Vasquez warned.

Legislation in Congress has remained in limbo despite early signs from a bipartisan mix of lawmakers and advocates who voiced alarm that such a device was deemed legal and on the market. Even the National Rifle Association sounded open to great regulation of bump stocks.

Joyce Malcolm, a professor at George Mason University's Antonin Scalia School of Law, said the bans likely would withstand a legal challenge, but she wonders about more practical matters: How might they be enforced?

"I don't see a real constitutional issue. I just wonder about actually getting these devices out of circulation for people who already have them," she said.

It's not known how many of the devices are in circulation. At the time of the Las Vegas shooting, gun dealers said they rarely had customers wanting to buy one - but then couldn't keep up with the demand in the days and months afterward. The leading manufacturer of bump stocks, Texas-based Slide Fire Solutions, briefly stopped selling them, posting a notice on its website that it had suspended sales to keep up with demand. It has since resumed sales.

Massachusetts, which has some of the nation's strictest gun laws, enacted its ban a month after the Las Vegas shooting, pushed through a Democratic-controlled Legislature and signed into law by a Republican lieutenant governor. New Jersey followed suit last month with a measure signed into law by outgoing Republican Gov. Chris Christie. About a dozen other states are considering similar bills.

"This is a very familiar story. The Congress cowers in the face of the NRA, and the states act," said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for tougher gun laws.

Connecticut, home to some of the world's most legendary gun makers, is among the other states considering bans.

Rep. William Tong, a Democrat and House chairman of the Connecticut Legislature's Judiciary Committee, called it a commonsense measure that puts public safety first.

"The federal government has demonstrated that, given the composition of the Congress right now, it's not possible to pass commonsense gun laws," he said. "Connecticut can't wait."

Gun-rights advocates say the efforts undermine the Second Amendment and will do little to stop criminals.

"Anti-gun Democrats love to ban things. That is their answer," said Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, who added bump stocks have rarely, if ever, been used in a crime before the Las Vegas shooting. "This is their chance to say, 'Hey, we're doing something. Look at us. We're doing something.' It's not going to do anything."

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Follow Lisa Marie Pane at http://twitter.com/lisamariepane

Source: http://www.nbc-2.com/story/37425654/cities-and-states-take-the-lead-on-banning-bump-stocks

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Naples Gun School - 5 stars  I've been a repeat customer for FFL transfers with Naples Gun School for quite some time. Dave's customer service and knowledge are second to none. After speaking with Dave for a few moments, you start to feel as if you have known him for quite a while. I look forward to continuing my business when the new location opens. - Robert Boyette

I really enjoyed the class yesterday, and it was very nice to meet David and Ginny. David is very knowledgeable, helpful, and best of all: has a sense of humor. I was more nervous than I thought I would be because this was the first time in my life that I've ever shot a semi-automatic weapon. David lives and breathes this stuff and his presence and ease with weapons was very calming for me when I was at the range. Ginny was also very supportive throughout the whole class. Thank you guys so much! It's a pleasure and I will be back to purchase supplies from you! - Shenandoah Webb

Naples Gun School - 5 starsTook the 3/31/18 class and loved it! Dave was very informative and his laid back teaching style made the 4 hour class fly by. Would recommend this class to anyone interested in a CWP. Thanks Dave and Ginny! - Kelly Gardner

Naples Gun School - 5 stars I’d like to thank The Naples Gun School for the time and effort they took in order to help me become a more responsible hand gun owner. By taking your CCWP class on 3.31.2018, I’m honestly a better person today than I was yesterday. Your course is not only interesting, but informative as well. The time we had together flew by. Throughout the whole process, they were calm and patient with every student. Especially after everyone seemed to drop their cartridges on the floor during the revolver training portion of the program. I highly recommend Naples Gun School to anyone that’s interested in becoming a CCWP holder. And I definitely will use their services by purchasing all my gun needs through their establishment. David & Ginny, thank you so much. I had a wonderful time!Chris Shaffer

 

Naples Gun School - 5 stars This class kept me very interested, informed and didn’t even realize 4 hours went by! Would recommend everyone to take this class! - Douglas Shaffer

 

Naples Gun School - 5 stars - Lurybella Lora Trejo

 

Naples Gun School - 5 stars Used Naples Gun School for a FFL transfer and after talking with David decided to take his CCW class and am glad I did. David is very knowledgeable and his class is small so you receive one on one training in the classroom and the range. I Highly recommend Naples Gun School. You won’t find a better class in Naples. Thank you David for a great experience. - Michael Ferrarelli

 

Naples Gun School - 5 stars Thorough, energetic, knowledgeable, PATIENT, and even entertaining at times! As an Educator, I know it can be daunting sometimes to teach the same material over and over, but David certainly didn't show it. You can tell how passionate he is about what he does.
I researched multiple options around town in choosing the provider for my CCW class. David & Ginny as a husband & wife team, provided the BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE in answering all of my questions thoroughly and promptly before even signing up. And somehow, Naples Gun School was also able to provide the LOWEST COST in town!
As a female and brand new to guns, David & Ginny made me feel safe, secure, and comfortable. THANK YOU! A+++ -
Jessica Payne

 

I took the class on 3/10/18 and I was blown away. David and his wife are excellent people and David is an excellent instructor. The class is excellent and exceeded my expectations with information on the laws of Florida, and as well to carry properly, load the weapons as well as placement of holding weapons. If your looking to buy a weapon he is the man to go to. I personally bought my firearm from and he equipped me with great knowledge during my time there. I give this class 100 out of 100 and highly recommended. David is a great guy and instructor with many years of experience!! - Cory Duffy

 

Naples Gun School - 5 stars - Larry Papola

 

Naples Gun School - 5 stars Awesome class. Great preparation for firearm handling and concealed carry details. - Jeffrey Alty

 

Naples Gun School - 5 stars Very informative. Was made to feel very comfortable. Had some prior gun knowledge, left with a lot more. I highly recommend anyone thinking about getting their permit go there. - Sara Bunker

 

Naples Gun School - 5 stars I attended the conceal carry and gun safety training class on Feb 17th, 2018. David was very knowlegable and provided a lot of information that I think should be part of any gun safety or conceal carry training. He was very professional and took the time after the class and before we met at the gun range to answer several questions I had as well as show me a few different gun options they sell. I highly recommend David and Naples gun shop & school for anyone wanting to seriously learn what they need to before purchasing or using a firearm. Thank you, David! - Amanda Daves

 

Thanks again! Not only was is very informative, but fun as well. So glad we came to y'all for the class. - Sara Bunker

 

I had a great experience and your class was very informative. Thank you - Robby Bunker

 

Naples Gun School - 5 stars Great experience, willing to give one on one instruction and very patient for beginners! - Tiffany Baker

 

Had a great experience at the CCW class. Dave explained the information throughly and made it very easy to understand. I would definitely recommend the class to anyone interested.. -Scott Sioma

 

Naples Gun School - 5 starsGreat class!!! David really takes his time to show you how to feel Comfortable with the fire arm. - Alonzo Gonzalez

 

Enjoyed the class very much! It was well taught and all the information was presented professionally and was easy to understand. I was nervous at first but our instructor put our minds at ease. Would definitely recommend! - Tony Aceto

 

Naples Gun School - 5 starsEnjoyed the class, everything well explained. The David(instructor )explain in a way everybody understand and in a dynamic way. I will recommend it without a doubt. Thanks guys! - Joel Davila

 

I had an amazing experience in the CCW class that David teaches! This class was so informative and interesting. The way David presented everything made it extremely fun and easy to retain. The size of the class was 12 people, so we all got one on one training and I feel it was the perfect size of class. I learned so many important things that I never would have even thought about without this class. Ginny was also so wonderful, and so supportive when I was nervous. I had so many questions that were answered, and the amount of knowledge Ginny and Davis shared with the class was astounding. I feel very confident now about gun safety and self defense and I would highly recommend this class!! David and Ginny know their stuff!! -Senae Hughes

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