‘Bump stocks’ ban, stalled in Congress, draws GOP opposition in TN

With legislation to ban “bump stocks” stalled in Congress, the Washington Post reports several state legislatures have had bills filed restricting the devices used in an October Las Vegas shooting that left 58 dead and hundreds injured and some – including California, Massachusetts and New Jersey – have enacted them.

In Tennessee, two Democratic legislators – Sen. Lee Harris of Memphis and Rep. Dwayne Thompson of Cordova – have introduced a ban bill (HB1461). But they haven’t scheduled a committee vote and the Johnson City Press reports Northeast Tennessee Republican legislators and the Tennessee Firearms Association are strongly opposed.

Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Gray) questioned the usefulness of the attachments… saying they reduce weapons’ accuracy, but he said he would oppose a proposed law to ban them, crank-fire devices and other devices meant to increase semi-automatic weapons’ rates of fire.

“I don’t think it’s useful, but I won’t support that legislation,” he said. “I consider it an infringement on our constitutional rights.”

A bump stock increases the rate of fire of a semi-automatic weapon by using the energy from the weapon’s recoil to bump the trigger repeatedly into the shooter’s stationary finger.

…Harris said “devices like bump stock devices that can lead to mass carnage and mass shootings have no justifiable reason for sale or possession.”

…Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) likewise said the proposed legislation could violate Tennesseans’ rights.

“Under our Constitution, all Americans — including Tennesseans — have a right to bear arms. As a Conservative, I have a responsibility to protect the Second Amendment rights of the hardworking men, women, and families of Washington County. Our actions as they relate to the state’s gun laws should not infringe on the rights of our law-abiding citizens,” he said in an emailed statement to the Johnson City Press.

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