House GOP leader: Leave bump stock ban to the feds

House Republican leaders have declared there’s no need for Tennessee’s legislature to pass a Democrat-sponsored bill banning firearm “bump stocks” because it’s being handled at the federal level, as U.S. General Jeff Sessions mentioned in a Nashville speech, according to The Tennessean.

On March 10, the federal Department of Justice submitted a notice to the Office of Management and Budget to ban the sale of the devices.  While in Nashville on Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions briefly referenced the move, which he said was needed because bump stocks “in effect turn legal guns into illegal machine guns.”

… Last month, while in Washington, D.C., (Gov. Bill) Haslam told reporters he supported ending the sale of bump stocks. But (House Majority Leader Glen) Casada said the matter was a federal issue and whatever Tennessee lawmakers did “would only be for show.”

“Let’s don’t do things just to say and placate. Let’s do real things,” he said, denying that Republicans are trying to avoid voting on the matter.

When asked about the legislature’s decision last year to approve a bill related to gun silencers that would have no impact if the federal government deregulated silencers, Casada denied the legislation was simply window dressing.

“We didn’t think they were going to act,” Casada said. The federal silencer deregulation did not ultimately become law.

Casada’s comments come as Democrats continue to express frustration about Republicans’ decision to prevent the bump stock bill from advancing.

“It seems that the Las Vegas shooter didn’t break any laws, until he shattered the hotel window of the Mandalay Bay,” Rep. Dwayne Thompson, D-Cordova, said in a statement Thursday. “Bump stocks have no purpose other than to kill. There’s no purpose to keep them legal, other than to serve special interest groups that care nothing about safe schools and neighborhoods.”

Thompson, along with Sen. Lee Harris, D-Memphis, introduced the bill that would ban bump stock sales in Tennessee.

There’s also this comment from Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah), who chairs the House Civil Justice Subcommittee that’s holding the bill until it’s final meeting of the session.

“We can pass a bill and scream, ‘Oh yeah, we did something,’ and it’s all a fraud, to influence the public that we’ve done something we haven’t done. That’s Washington politics. That’s not true law,” he said

Note: Casada and Carter were both co-sponsors of HJR729, which declares that Tennessee recognizes Jerusalem as the capitol of the nation of Israel. It passed the House 73-14 with all the no votes coming from Democrats.

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