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Congressman Brown Sponsors Legislation to Ban Bump Stocks

October 5, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) joined Congressman David Cicilline (RI-01) and 138 fellow Democrats to sponsor the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act (H.R. 3947). The bill would prohibit the sale, possession or manufacturing of the “bump fire stock” device – a tool that accelerates the rate of fire of semi-automatic weapons to hundreds of rounds per minute. In many cases, the rate of fire can be modified to 400 to 800 rounds per minute. While Maryland and many states have strict laws regarding automatic weapons, the bump stock is legal and readily available to purchase online.

“There’s no reason any American needs a ‘bump stock’ for responsible gun ownership,” said Congressman Brown. “We must do more to curb gun violence in the United States and should not allow the gun lobby to continue to block or roll back commonsense reforms any longer. Technology that allows automatic assault weapons to be on our streets should not be readily available on the Internet. When lives are on the line, when on average there is more than one mass shooting every day, Congress needs to do everything in its power to protect our people.”

The Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act prohibits the sale of bump stocks, which were developed within the past decade to modify semi-automatic rifles. When replacing the fixed stock on a rifle, a bump stock allows the shooter to fire at a rate of 400 to 800 rounds per minute, replicating the rate of fire of a fully automatic weapon (or “machine gun”) that propels multiple bullets with a single trigger pull. Last night, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) confirmed that the Las Vegas shooter had 12 bump stocks attached to rifles in his hotel room.  

Fully automatic firearms are highly regulated, requiring an extensive FBI background check and approval from the buyer’s local police department. Several states, including California, New York, and Rhode Island, have generally prohibited the possession of fully automatic firearms. The U.S. Government, however, approved the sale of bump stocks, in 2010.

Prior to sponsoring the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act, Congressman Brown was one of the first to push back against the Republican-led SHARE Act. During both the committee hearing and mark-up, Congressman Brown pointed out that Titles XV and XVI would dangerously ease regulations on silencers and armor piercing ammunition, and weaken state and local gun safety laws.

Further, in July, Congressman Brown introduced the Make Identifiable Criminal Rounds Obvious (MICRO) Act (H.R. 3458). The bill prohibits federal firearms licensees from manufacturing, selling, or transferring semiautomatic handguns, unless those handguns are capable of microstamping ammunition or face gradual fines. Further, it builds on on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) use of automated ballistic imaging and comparison equipment to analyze crime gun evidence. Microstamping utilizes laser technology to engrave the make, model, and serial number on the internal mechanisms of a firearm, such as the breech and firing pin. Each time the gun is fired, that information is engraved onto the bullet’s shell casings.

A PDF copy of the Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act can be downloaded by clicking here.