There is a growing bipartisan chorus of calls to take a step in the direction of regulating guns in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, including two lawmakers from Central Illinois.
U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, and Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon, said Thursday they’ve signed on to a letter asking the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to review the law regarding bump-stock technology that was reportedly used in the Las Vegas shooting earlier this week.
Bump-stocks and trigger actuators were reportedly by the Vegas gunman to dramatically increase the discharge rate of his firearms. At least 59 people died and hundreds were injured when he opened fire on an outdoor country music festival.
“Fully-automatic weapons have been illegal in the U.S. for the last 30 years, but recent technology has made it easier to legally simulate a fully-automatic weapon,” Davis said in a statement. “Until this week, I had never even heard of a bump-stock so we are asking the ATF for more information – to be educated on the issue and current law. There is no place for politics in this debate for knee-jerk reactions, but I believe we can have a thoughtful, non-partisan discussion about the facts.
“To be clear, those who believe that gun control or one law is going to put an end to mass shootings are, unfortunately, severely shortsighted,” Davis said. “As someone who experienced gun violence a few months ago, I know all too well that this is a much larger issue of hate, of mental illness, and of evil and we cannot lose sight of that.”
Kinzinger, an Illinois State University alum and Bloomington-Normal native, is one of the leaders on the ATF letter on bump-stocks.
“I was surprised to learn that in 2010 and 2012, the ATF determined these devices were compliant with federal law,” Kinzinger said. “The ATF must re-evaluate these devices, and it is my hope that they conclude these mechanisms violate the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. In the meantime, my colleagues and I will consider legislative options, because these fully-automatic simulator devices have no place in civil society.”
The National Rifle Association said Thursday that bump-stocks should be “subject to additional regulations.” In a statement, the NRA said ATF should immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.
The organization which holds a powerful sway over members of Congress dismissed some of the initial response from lawmakers who have pressed for more gun control.
“Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks,” said NRA leaders Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox.
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