Nevada officials: New rule notwithstanding, Congress still needs to ban bump stocks

CC BY-SA 3.0 from Wikimedia Commons
CC BY-SA 3.0 from Wikimedia Commons

(Updated to include comments from Cortez Masto, Rosen and Sisolak.)

“The president seems more interested in making headlines than making progress,” Rep. Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, said Tuesday in response to the Trump administration’s rule to ban the devices used by the gunman who killed 58 concertgoers from a Mandalay Bay hotel room.

The finalized rule classifies bump stocks as a “machineguns…because such devices allow a shooter of a semiautomatic firearm to initiate a continuous firing cycle with a single pull of the trigger,” making them illegal. Owners of bump stocks have 90 days to destroy the devices or turn them in to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF).

But Titus, in a statement, warned that the new rule “will likely be tied up in courts” and said that Congress must pass legislation to “provide the authority to the BATF to ensure any regulatory effort actually works.” Titus is one of several sponsors of legislation to that effect.

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said in a statement she welcomes the new rule. “However, Congress must act to make sure that the ban has the force of law and cannot be subject to repeal by judicial measures, or the actions of a future Administration.”

“Passing a statutory ban on bump stocks is one of the most effective ways Congress can prevent these dangerous devices from ever coming back into use,” said Congresswoman and Senator-elect Jacky Rosen, who co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to outlaw bump stocks in the House.

The new rule “is a long overdue step in the right direction,” said Governor-elect Steve Sisolak. “But this ruling does not mean the work is done. I look forward to working with law enforcement, our congressional delegation, and our state legislators to ensure an effective bump stocks ban is in place in Nevada.”

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.


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