Senate Republicans Block Ban Attempt

( – The worst mass shooting in modern history took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 1, 2017. Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest country music festival from a hotel room above, killing 60 people and injuring more than 800. Then-President Donald Trump banned bump stocks after public pressure, but the Supreme Court recently overturned the prohibition. Republicans have now blocked a legislative effort to ban the accessory.

A bump stock is an accessory that replaces the standard stock on a rifle. The weapon can then bump back and forth between a user’s shoulder and trigger finger. If the shooter maintains forward pressure and holds their finger in place, the rifle fires at almost the rate of a machine gun. The Trump Administration expanded the automatic weapon ban to cover bump stocks. The Supreme Court recently struck it down and ruled that the legislative branch would have to pass a law.

On June 18, Democrats tried to force a voice vote on a bill sponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) that would ban the sale of bump stocks. Heinrich told his colleagues that Paddock was able to fire over 1,000 rounds of ammunition in just 10 minutes because of the accessory. The senator said there was “no legitimate use for a bump stock” in any capacity. He claimed, “What they are tailor-made for is a mass shooting.”

Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) moved to kill the bill. He said the SCOTUS “made the right decision” and argued that banning bump stocks could make it easier to prohibit other accessories.

Other Republicans argued the Democratic Party was staging a vote for show because they knew Conservatives would never prohibit the accessory. Democrats argued many members of the GOP supported the ban when Trump implemented it and they hoped they’d receive the same support.

Collins’ and Heinrich’s bill was not able to overcome the objections from the Right, and the voice vote failed.

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