After years of unsuccessful attempts, a modest gun control measure stands a chance of winning some Republican votes in Congress.
The legislation, introduced by Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, takes aim at devices known as “bump stocks,” which turn semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic machine guns capable of firing continuously.
“Mr. and Mrs. America, you have to stand up. You have to say that enough is enough,” Feinstein said in a press conference where Democrats unveiled the legislation. “You have to say that there is no reason to make a semi-automatic assault weapon into a fully-automatic battlefield weapon.”
Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter, used store-bought “bump stocks” to enhance the firepower of weapons he used in his shooting spree.
The Feinstein measure is the first piece of gun control legislation in recent memory to potentially gain Republican support. Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, said the ban “makes sense,” and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson expressed his support for the legislation.
Feinstein’s Gun Control Bill May Win Some GOP Support
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.