Bump stock ban likely to clear House on Wednesday

Bump stocks are used to make a semi-automatic weapon fire like an automatic weapon

FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2013, file photo, an employee of North Raleigh Guns demonstrates how a "bump" stock works at the Raleigh, N.C., shop. The gunman who unleashed hundreds of rounds of gunfire on a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas on Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, attached what is called a "bump-stock" to two of his weapons, in effect converting semiautomatic firearms into fully automatic ones. (AP Photo/Allen Breed, File)

BOSTON (SHNS) – Legislation banning devices known as bump stocks that may have been used in the Oct. 1 Las Vegas massacre and can enable a semi-automatic weapon to fire like an automatic weapon is expected to surface for a House vote Wednesday afternoon, according to a senior House official.

Following the Las Vegas shooting, Rep. David Linksy filed legislation to ban bump stocks in Massachusetts, as well as high-capacity magazines that carry more than 10 rounds of ammunition. That legislation has not emerged for a public hearing yet, but Linsky has filed an amendment to a $123 million budget bill that the House plans to take up on Wednesday afternoon.

State lawmakers considering gun modification ban

The amendment does not address high-capacity magazines but would ban the possession or sale of any device “which attaches to a rifle, shotgun, or firearm, except a magazine, that is designed to increase the rate of discharge of the rifle, shotgun or firearm.”

Those who violate the proposed law would face a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in state prison, with a 20-year maximum allowable sentence.

Bump stocks are devices that can be used to modify semi-automatic weapons to get them to act as automatic weapons. The stock uses the recoil action of the firearm to slide the weapon back and forth allowing it to fire rapidly. The devices escape the state’s ban on automatic weapons because the user’s finger technically remains on the trigger, pulling to initiate each shot.

“I’ve yet to find any legitimate reason for someone to own a bump stock or any other device that turns semi-automatic rifles into automatic rifles. Frankly, I can’t come up with a legitimate reason,” Linsky said.

The Gun Owners Action League, which is the local affiliate of the National Rifle Association, has so far raised no objections to banning bump stocks. House and Senate Republicans have also said they support the measure.

And Gov. Charlie Baker said last week he would sign such a bill if it landed on his desk.