PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Congressmen from Rhode Island want to ban devices that can enable rifles to fire continuously, like automatic weapons can.
U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat, said Wednesday he’s co-sponsoring a bill with U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, to ban bump stocks and other devices that can enable a rifle to fire as many as 400 to 800 rounds per minute.
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, and more than 20 other Democrats also signed on as co-sponsors.
Authorities say a gunman who shot hundreds of people at a Las Vegas country music show, killing dozens of them, had 23 guns and 12 bump stocks with him at his hotel. A bump stock is an attachment that replaces a rifle’s regular stock, the part of the rifle held against the shooter’s shoulder.
U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, also a Rhode Island Democrat, said he introduced a similar bill Wednesday in the House of Representatives.
The Republican-controlled Congress has not taken up new gun restrictions in light of recent mass killings.
“It is sickening to stand by and just let the body counts rise and do nothing,” Reed said in a statement.
Cicilline said immediately after the Las Vegas shooting that Congress must do more than just hold a moment of silence. While obtaining a fully automatic weapon is extremely difficult and prohibited in some states, bump stocks are legal and readily available online, he added.
“We cannot become a country where the carnage in Las Vegas becomes the new normal,” Cicilline said.