Ohio gun groups say they oppose any bans on a gun accessory called bump stocks used by the Las Vegas mass shooter to turn semi-automatic rifles into rapid-fire automatic weapons.
The (Columbus) Dispatch reports the Buckeye Firearms Association and Ohioans for Concealed Carry say a ban would be a threat to American gun rights.
Stephen Paddock equipped rifles with bump stocks that he used to kill 58 people and wound hundreds from a Las Vegas hotel room a week ago.
Buckeye Firearms Executive Director Dean Rieck said in an email to supporters Friday that a ban would create a “slippery slope” that could further some people’s goals to “take our guns away.”
Concealed Carry said it’s opposed to any “knee-jerk bans” on gun accessories “demonized” by the media.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, told “CBS This Morning” he would support a bump stock ban. Ohio U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, also voiced support for such a ban. His GOP counterpart, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, said he was reviewing the issue, according to media reports.
The National Rifle Association had last week indicated it would not oppose further regulating bump stocks.
But on Sunday, the NRA drew a line on an outright ban. Chris Cox, the NRA’s chief lobbyist, said too much public focus was being placed on limiting the devices rather than preventing bad human behavior. He said it was the responsibility of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — not Congress — to regulate the sale of bump stocks.
“We don’t believe that bans have ever worked on anything. What we have said has been very clear — that if something transfers a semiautomatic to function like a fully automatic, then it ought to be regulated differently,” Cox said.
It was a sign of a possible rocky road ahead for action by Congress.
Seeking momentum for gun restrictions, Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Sunday said only broader legislation would be effective in outlawing bump stock devices.
“Regulations aren’t going to do it. We need a law. It can’t be changed by another president,” said Feinstein, D-Calif., a longtime advocate of stricter gun control measures. She lamented the stratified lines of debate in “a gun-happy country.”
The debate over how to regulate bump stocks comes in the aftermath of the shooting at a Las Vegas music festival last week, America’s deadliest in modern history. While senior congressional Republicans and the Trump administration have expressed openness in restricting the gun accessories, lawmakers are divided over whether to rely on legislation or push for an executive branch order.
Bump stocks are accessories that substitute for the regular stock and grip of a semi-automatic rifle and allow the weapon to fire continuously, some 400 to 800 rounds in a single minute.