GOP Senators Block Bill to Outlaw Bump Stocks

One senator called it a 'gun grabbing overreach'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 18, 2024 5:28 PM CDT
Republicans Block Bill to Outlaw Bump Stocks
A bump stock is displayed in Harrisonburg, Virginia.   (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

Senate Republicans blocked bipartisan legislation Tuesday that would have outlawed bump stocks after the Supreme Court struck down a ban on the rapid-fire gun accessory used in the deadliest shooting in modern US history. Democrats tried to force a voice vote on the bill to ban bump stocks, a tactic often used by both parties when they know that they don't have the votes to pass legislation but want to bring an issue to the Senate floor, the AP reports.

  • The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, would ban the sale of the devices, similar to the rule issued by Donald Trump's administration after a gunman in Las Vegas attacked a country music festival in 2017 with semiautomatic rifles equipped with the accessories.

  • "I refuse to stand idly by and wait for the next mass shooting," Heinrich said as he called for a vote on the Senate floor. "Bump stocks serve no legitimate purpose."
  • Nebraska Sen. Pete Ricketts objected for Republicans, blocking an immediate vote on the bill. He called the legislation a "gun grabbing overreach" that could be interpreted to include other gun accessories beyond bump stocks. "This bill will not pass," Ricketts said. "It won't pass because enough people in this building still believe in the Constitution, and the Constitution affords Americans the right to own a firearm."

  • Many Republicans supported the ban when Trump issued it. But several said this week that they would oppose the legislation to reinstate it, arguing that the vote is another election-year stunt by Democrats, not a serious attempt to pass bipartisan legislation.
  • North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, a Republican who worked with Democrats on bipartisan gun legislation two years ago, said that if Schumer were serious about banning bump stocks, "he'd be calling people into a room who have worked on bipartisan bills," but instead "it's a political exercise, which is a shame."
(More bump stocks stories.)

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