A bill filed Thursday in the Illinois House would make it illegal to buy or sell assault weapons, assault attachments and .50 caliber rifles and cartridges.
This bill, filed by Rep. Martin J. Moylan, D-Des Plaines, comes just days after a man killed 59 people at a concert in Las Vegas using a modifier that made his gun into an assault-style weapon.
Moylan’s bill, HB4107, would also prohibit the sale or purchase of a trigger modification device. Of the 23 guns Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock had in his hotel room during the massacre, 12 of them were equipped with bump stocks that allow a semi-automatic rifle to fire hundreds of bullets in seconds.
The bump stock is a plastic shoulder stock that is designed to attached to an AR-15 or AK-style rifle. It is not considered illegal by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives because there’s no automatically functioning mechanical parts or springs.
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Federally, the National Rifle Association announced Thursday that they wanted to government to review whether bump stocks complied with the law, or if they should be subject to additional regulations, the Associated Press reported. The White House responded, saying it was open to having conversations on the issue.
U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, and U.S. Rep Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, sent a letter with other Congressional members to the ATF, urging a re-evaluation of the legality of bump stocks. Some of the most senior Republicans in Congress also say they are open to banning bump stocks.
“As we mourn the victims and pray for the families of the Las Vegas attacks, we must resist the urge to retreat to our ideological corners as a response,” Bost said in a statement. “Now is the time for common sense solutions, not political finger-pointing. Reports indicate the shooter may have utilized a bump-stock device to modify a semi-automatic firearm into what is effectively a fully-automatic weapon. As the investigation into the tragedy continues, it’s critical that the ATF closely re-evaluates the impact of these devices and whether they violate federal law.”
Davis also issued a statement about his thoughts on the legality of bump stocks.
“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. 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 or 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. 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.”
SlideFire, one of the main manufacturers of bump stocks, announced on its website that it were temporarily suspending taking new orders to “provide the best service with those already placed.”
Local gun shop owners said Tuesday they don’t carry the bump stock. Chris Parciak, of Curt Smith Sporting Goods in Belleville, said no one ever asks about the modifier. Metro Shooting Supplies in Belleville does not stock the modifier, nor does Michael’s Arms and Accessories in Edwardsville.
“I don’t really see it as necessary,” said Tom Johnson, manager at Michael’s Arms. “Nobody asks for it. I don’t mess with any of that stuff. I could order if if someone wanted it, but I don’t push it.”
Staff reporter Elizabeth Donald contributed to this story.