For Immediate Release
October 12, 2017
Contact: Natalie.Higgins@mahouse.gov, 978-602-3772
House Passes Legislation Banning Bump Stocks
Strengthens Massachusetts’ Nationally-Recognized Gun Safety Laws
BOSTON- Representative Natalie Higgins (D-Leominster) joined her colleagues in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to pass an amendment sponsored by Representative David Linsky to the 2017 Supplemental Budget banning the sale, purchase, or ownership of a “bump stock” and similar devices.
The amendment adopted by the House bans the possession, ownership, or sale of any device that attaches to a rifle, shotgun, or firearm, other than a magazine, which is designed to increase the rate of fire of said weapon. The legislation carries a punishment of imprisonment in the state prison by not less than three years nor more than twenty years, and goes into effect six months from the passage of the bill.
“I am proud and encouraged that the House’s 2014 gun law has resulted in Massachusetts having the lowest rate of gun deaths per capita,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “There’s no doubt about it: The stronger the gun laws, the safer the state. Today’s vote to ban bump stocks is a responsible, commonsense action to protect our citizens and make our laws even stronger. I thank Chairman Linsky for his initiative and I urge other states and Congress to take action on gun safety.”
“What we saw last week in Las Vegas was horrific,” said Representative Jeffrey Sánchez, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways & Means (D-Boston). “While we cannot bring those precious lives back, today’s bump stock ban prevents another tragedy from taking place in Massachusetts, and builds on our progress promoting sensible gun safety in the Commonwealth.”
“This legislation will ensure that no one in Massachusetts can legally possess a ‘bump stock,’ a device designed to increase the deadliness of these already deadly weapons,” said Representative Linsky (D-Natick). “These devices were created by gun manufacturers as a work-around of the federal law banning the sale and possession of automatic weapons, and there is absolutely no place for them in a civilized society.”
“When I woke last Sunday to the news of the tragedy in Las Vegas, I was distraught to learn that the devices the gunman used to help his semi-automatic guns mimic automatic weapons may fall under a loophole of Massachusetts law,” said Representative Higgins. “I knew we had to take action in the Massachusetts legislature and I am proud to stand with my colleagues to protect the safety of Massachusetts residents.”
A “bump stock” is a device that uses the recoil of a semiautomatic firearm to file several shots in succession, mimicking automatic gun fire. While the weapon still fires one bullet for every pull of the trigger, the “bump stock” automates the trigger-pull process, allowing shooters to fire at a rate of 400 to 800 rounds a minute. Twelve of the rifles the gunman in the Las Vegas mass shooting were modified with a “bump stock,” allowing him to increase the fire rate of his weapon.
“Congress has continued its failure to act in the wake of yet another gun violence tragedy, but I applaud Speaker DeLeo and the rest of my colleagues in the Massachusetts House for their willingness to take a stand on this issue of public safety,” said Representative Linsky. “We must continue to take the initiative at the state level to improve our state’s gun laws, and ultimately save lives.”
The Amendment, which passed 151-3, now goes to the Massachusetts Senate for debate.