Mass. House Moves Quickly To Ban Bump Stocks

Oct 11, 2017

The Massachusetts House has approved a bill that would outlaw devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to mimic fully automatic guns.

The House voted Wednesday 151-3 in favor of legislation to ban bump stocks, such as those used by the Las Vegas shooter.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker supports a ban.

The devices fit over the stock and grip of a semi-automatic rifle and allow the weapon to fire continuously.

State Rep. David Linsky, a Natick Democrat, filed legislation that would outlaw any devices that -- when attached to a rifle, shotgun or firearm -- increase the rate of discharge of the weapon.

"With the Second Amendment right to bear arms, comes the responsibility and that responsibility includes to not use weapons that have no place in a civilized society," Linsky said.

Those who violate the measure would face between three and 20 years in prison. The prohibition would take effect 180 days after becoming law.

Lawmakers fast-tracked it, opting to attach the ban to a supplemental budget, instead of a stand alone vote that would have required public hearings.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo defended the move, saying the ban should have been included in earlier reforms of the state's gun laws.

"I think it was an oversight on our behalf, and it's most important that...we take it up immediately and that we again show that Massachusetts is the number one state in the country when it comes to battling gun violence," DeLeo said.

While the ban has received biartisan support, the Gun Owners Action League has objected to some parts of Linsky's bill.

The Associated Press and WBUR's Steve Brown contributed to this report.