A Florida congressional Republican is leading the charge on a bill to ban “bump stocks” in the wake of a Las Vegas shooting which left 58 people dead and more than 500 injured.
U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami, plans to introduce legislation within the next day or two to ban bump stocks, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced a bill in the Senate Wednesday to ban bump stocks and similar devices, and it’s likely her bill and Curbelo’s will gather bipartisan support in the coming weeks.
Curbelo will cosponsor the bill with Seth Moulton, a Democrat from Massachusetts.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told MSNBC Thursday he would support looking into bump stocks, attachments which allow semi-automatic rifles to fire at high-speed, automatic rates.
Police said Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock -- who once resided in Florida -- outfitted 12 of his firearms with bump stocks as he fired hundreds of rounds of ammunition into the crowd of 22,000 people late Sunday evening.
Speaker Ryan said the shooting made him aware of the attachments and he signaled he was seriously considering looking into the accessories -- a step towards gun control in a Republican-controlled House which has previously been adamant against gun restrictions in the past.
"Look, I didn't even know what they were until this week, and I'm an avid sportsman," Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, said Thursday. "So, I think we're quickly coming up to speed with what this is. Fully automatic weapons have been banned for a long time. Apparently this allows you to take a semiautomatic and turn it into a fully automatic so clearly that's something we need to look into."
Florida Republicans said they would be onboard with restricting bump stocks -- U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor, both said they would support Curbelo’s bill.
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, spoke on the proposal Thursday, saying he, too, would be in favor of the bill.
“Bump stocks generating automatic rates of fire should face the same restrictions as automatic weapons,” Buchanan tweeted Thursday.
Curbelo, a centrist, is likely to gather more support in the coming days -- he’s popular in the Republican caucus and Moulton’s support will help him claim middle ground in the fight to pass the bill.
Owning a machine gun is, in many cases, against the law -- any machine gun made or imported after 1986 can only legally be owned by a licensed dealer, police or military.
Full text of the bill is forthcoming.