WASHINGTON — Rep. Dina Titus, backed by other Democrats in the Nevada delegation, sent a letter Saturday urging House and Senate leaders to hold a vote on her bill to permanently ban bump stocks.
The date is significant: It marks five years since a lone shooter using rifles equipped with bump stocks killed 60 people and wounded hundreds more at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip.
“Five years after the horrific tragedy in my district, we still have not permanently outlawed bump stocks,” Titus said in a statement from her office that accompanied the letter she sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.
Congress is in recess until after the Nov. 8 election.
The House passed a package of gun reforms earlier this year that included a bump stock ban bill by Titus, but that piece was stripped from final legislation approved by the Senate and ultimately sent to President Joe Biden for his signature.
Following the 2017 shooting, then-President Donald Trump ordered the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to review regulatory language and reclassify bump stocks as machine guns, which are outlawed under the Gun Control Act. But that regulatory ban has faced legal challenges by gun rights groups in federal courts and could be reversed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Republican leaders have opposed legislative bans on bump stocks, citing concerns over infringing on Second Amendment rights. Bump stocks, which increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic weapons, were first deemed legal following an ATF review during the Obama administration when manufacturers sought guidance on the accessories.
“If a partisan court so chooses, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ban could be reversed and these devices would become easily accessible again,” Titus said in her plea to pass her legislation. “We must act to ensure these deadly weapons are no longer in civilian hands. Our children cannot wait any longer.”
Reps. Steven Horsford and Susie Lee, both D-Nev., are cosponsors of the Titus bill and also signed the letter.
Contact Gary Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.