Massachusetts Becomes the First State To Ban Bump Stocks After Las Vegas Massacre

Bryan Michalek | November 6, 2017

Massachusetts has passed legislation outlawing bump stocks, an after-market accessory that allows semi-automatic rifles to function similar to fully automatic weapons. 

Massachusetts Republican Lt. Governor Karyn Polito signed the bill last Friday after it was approved the state's Democrat-led legislature, according to NPR. This makes Massachusetts the first state to pass a bump-stock ban after the Las Vegas massacre. 

According to reports, Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock used bump stocks to increase the lethality of his semi-automatic weapons and pour several hundreds of rounds into a crowd below him. The bump-stock allows shooters the ability to use firing recoil to rapidly push the weapon's trigger against their trigger finger, which allows a semi-automatic to virtually fire as if it were an automatic. 

The new legislation also mandates current bump-stock owners discard their devices within 90 days. 

Just days after the Las Vegas shooting, Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie BakerBaker declared his support for a bump stock ban, saying, "If that were to pass tomorrow, we would sign it." 

The Gun Owners' Action League of Massachusetts, an affiliate of the National Rifle Association, has come out as the biggest opponent of the legislation.

The Giffords Law Center To Prevent Gun Violence, founded by Gabrielle Giffords, who was wounded during a shooting at a public event in Arizona in 2011,praised move in a statement, saying, "We hope other states around the country will stand up to the gun lobby, follow Massachusetts' lead, and ensure bump stocks and other similar devices are kept off our streets."

While Massachusetts is the first state post-Las Vegas to pass a ban targeting bump-stocks, California has long had strict gun regulations in the books that dish out punishment for any instrument that "allows the firearm to discharge two or more shots in a burst by activating the device." 

According to a joint poll from NPR and IPSOS, 82 percent of Americans say that "bump-stocks" should be banned. The poll included 340 Democrats, 370 Republicans, and 186 Independents. 

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