Senate GOP blocks Democratic effort to ban bump stocks after Supreme Court ruling

Senate Republicans blocked Tuesday an attempt by Democrats to pass legislation banning bump stocks, following the Supreme Court decision that overturned a federal ban on these devices during the Trump era.

Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., the author of BUMP Act presented his proposal for unanimous consent but Sen. Pete Ricketts, R-Neb. It was blocked by Sen. Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.).

This move was made just days after the Supreme Court overturned the policy of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in 2018, which had been implemented after a mass-shooting in Las Vegas that left 60 dead and hundreds injured. The shooter was using guns with bump stocks that allow semiautomatic firearms to fire hundreds of rounds every minute.

Ricketts, a Democrat from New York State, said on Tuesday that the summer of show votes by Democrats was continuing. He compared the Democrats’ move to the recent decision made by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who held votes on reproductive issues.

Ad

Ricketts said that the Supreme Court also ruled correctly on last week.

Ricketts stated that although the bill is called BUMP Act it does not actually deal with bump stocks. This bill is about banning all firearm accessories and giving ATF the authority to ban semiautomatic weapons.

Heinrich, who introduced the bill with Sens. Susan Collins (R, Maine) and Catherine Cortez Masto(D-Nev.), ripped into the idea of bump stocks being available again.

“There are no legitimate uses for bump stocks. Not for self defense. Not for law enforcement. Heinrich stated that they would not be suitable for military use as the platforms are less accurate. “They are designed for mass shootings.”

It is not clear where the legislative efforts will go from here.

Schumer refused to confirm whether he will bring the bill up for a vote in the House, saying that he only hoped Republicans “see the light”, and not stop Heinrich’s Bill.

Schumer, in remarks on the floor earlier that day, said: “Donald Trump’s hardly a friend to gun safety. But I am just shocked that even the Supreme Court is to his right.” If Republicans are in the way, if the decide to side against parents, teachers, and law enforcement and instead choose to support the gun lobby, then they will be asking for another tragedy sooner or later.

Justice Samuel Alito, in a concurring opinion last week, suggested that Congress could act to resolve this issue. However, this seems unlikely at this time.

Several members stated Monday that the election season was preventing them from seeing a way to create a bipartisan issue.

Heinrich was quick to point out, however, that the upper chamber had acted in response to the mass shootings at Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas, two years earlier. The Bipartisan Safer Community Act was the result. It is the most significant gun safety legislation that has become law in almost three decades.

There’s some doubt about the ability of Congress to get this done – about our ability to come together and ban bump stocks. “We proved this type of thinking was flat wrong just two years ago,” he said. “By passing the Bipartisan Safer Community Act, we proved that Congress could take concrete actions to protect our community from gun violence. It’s now time to take similar bipartisan actions to ban bump stock.