Pennsylvania lawmakers move to ban ‘bump stocks’

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To many who heard the videotapes of the worst mass killing in modern U.S. history, the sound was distinct and they would swear it was automatic gunfire.

It wasn’t, investigators say, but a device attached to semi-automatic rifles increased the shooter’s rate of fire and his ability to kill and maim.

The specific device used in Las Vegas is called a bump stock. In general, they’re called multi-burst trigger activators. Pennsylvania Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) and Dominic Costa (D-Allegheny) want to make them illegal in the state.

In a co-sponsorship memo circulated Thursday explaining the ban, they called bump stocks, “deadly tools that have no place in a civilian society.”

While Democrats calling for gun control is not new, it’s also rarely successful, but Dean is confident this time may be different. For one, she’s hearing that the National Rifle Association is not opposed. The NRA typically stifles any legislation attempting to curtail a citizen’s Second Amendment rights.

Additionally, Dean said, she’s getting a positive reaction from Republican lawmakers in the House.

“It gives me hope that Pennsylvania can take the lead in saying enough is enough. We have to reduce gun violence,” Dean said. “Nobody should be armed with this insane weapon of war.”

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