Senate committee hears testimony on bump stock ban
By Daniel Terrill
Heather Gooze, who worked as a bartender during the Las Vegas attack, helped carry the injured during the shooting. She held a man as he died. (Photo: Las Vegas Journal-Review)
The Senate Judiciary committee heard testimony from victims, law enforcement and gun policy researchers on Wednesday to discuss the legality of bump stocks — devices that allow rifles to mimic full-auto fire.
The hearing was part of an evolving discussion about whether or not lawmakers should advance legislation to ban the device after a gunman used it to kill 58 people and injure some 550 others off the Las Vegas strip on Oct. 1. Using the device, he fired 1,100 rounds into a crowd of about 22,000 in 10 minutes.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have found common ground in their interest to update federal law to prohibit bump fire devices alongside machine guns, but the focus during the hearing was a measure filed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives launched a re-examination of federal law on Tuesday to determine if it does in fact permit the agency to regulate the device.
Acting ATF director Thomas Brandon explained to the committee the ATF’s authority is limited