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Delaware lawmakers propose bill to ban bump stocks

Delaware Public Media

After Congressional efforts to ban bump stocks failed, Delaware and other states are moving on their own to ban the devices.

House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst (D-Bear)  and State Sen. Harris McDowell (D-Wilmington North) are sponsoring the legislation.

Bump stock devices are used to modify semi-automatic weapons so they fire nearly as fast as an automatic rifle. The shooter who killed 58 people and injured hundreds more in Las Vegas earlier this year used them.

The measure proposed by Longhurst and McDowell would ban buying, selling and possession of devices that accelerate a semi-automatic rifle’s rate of fire. That includes bump stocks and devices called “trigger cranks.”

Longhurst said bump stocks are not necessary for self-protection.

“I don’t know how shooting out rounds of bullets is going to protect yourself," she said. "So, you know, I hope that people understand the balance between the two.”

Longhurst added there’s a difference between supporting 2nd Amendment rights and allowing modifications that make guns more deadly.

“I get when people talk about they want to protect their families and I’m not taking away their guns," she said. "What I’m saying is that there’s no reason to have these bump stocks. That is not a way to protect yourself.”

Lawmakers in several states, including Nevada, Pennsylvania and New York, have introduced proposals restricting bump stocks and similar devices.

Massachusetts was the first state after the mass shooting in Las Vegas to ban bump stocks.

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