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What is a bump fire stock? And which Minnesota lawmakers support a ban?

And which Minnesota lawmakers have said they support a ban?

The discovery of bump fire stocks – attachments that allow semi-automatic weapons to be fired more rapidly – in the room of the Las Vegas gunman has prompted a national discussion about their use.

Fifty-nine people were killed and more than 500 injured when Stephen Paddock unleashed a hail of bullets toward 22,000 country music fans from his hotel room.

Inside the Mandalay Bay room authorities found 23 guns, CNN reported, as well as bump stock devices. According to the Washington Post, Paddock did fire guns equipped with the attachment, which is also referred to as a slide fire.

In the wake of the massacre, which is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, lawmakers and organizations are weighing in on bump fire stocks. 

The NRA is asking the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to "immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law," saying it believes devices that let semi-auto rifles "function like fully-Automatic rifles" should face more regulations. 

Republican leaders in Congress have signaled they are open to limiting or banning bump stocks, the New York Times reports.

"There’s no reason for a typical gun owner to own anything that converts a semiautomatic to something that behaves like an automatic," Texas Republican Rep. Bill Flores told The Hill.

What Minnesota's congresspeople have said

Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, already wrote a bill that would ban the manufacturing, ownership and sale of bump stocks. More than 150 of his fellow congresspeople have cosponsored the proposal.

That includes four representatives from Minnesota:

  • Tim Walz (Democrat, 1st Congressional District)
  • Betty McCollum (Democrat, 4th Congressional District)
  • Keith Ellison (Democrat, 5th Congressional District)
  • Rick Nolan (Democrat, 8th Congressional District)

Walz on Twitter said there are "commonsense" steps Congress can take to help prevent "senseless gun violence."

Nolan meanwhile tweeted he was "proud" to be a cosponsor, and called bump stocks "downright dangerous."

Rep. Collin Peterson, Minnesota's fifth and final Democrat in the U.S. House, has also expressed support for a ban, WCCO reports.

Which leaves the state's three Republican congresspeople.

Rep. Erik Paulsen of the 3rd Congressional District in a statement said to GoMN said Friday banning bump stocks is "reasonable and responsible."

"Automatic weapons are already illegal and a device that effectively converts a firearm to an automatic weapon should also be outlawed," the statement continued, with a spokesperson saying Paulsen and some colleagues sent a letter to the ATF requesting an immediate evaluation of bump stocks' legality.

Reps. Jason Lewis (2nd Congressional District) and Tom Emmer (6th Congressional District) have not made public comments in recent days about the devices. GoMN has reached out to their offices for a comment. 

And Minnesota's U.S. senators?

Minnesota's two senators, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, are both Democrats.

Klobuchar, in an interview on Morning Joe Friday, indicated support for some type of legislation, including "sensible" background checks and banning bump stocks, Newsmax reports. She also noted that with Republicans on board with some type of restriction, there's an "opening" to get something done.

Franken feels the same, telling KFGO's Afternoon Live show there's "no reason for exceptions for people getting these."

"They should be outlawed. They shouldn’t be manufactured. They should be taken off the market," he said.

Both he and Kkobuchar are cosponsors of a bill in the Senate that would prohibit the sale or possession of bump stocks. 

Bump stocks generally retailed for about $180, Bloomberg reports, but nearly doubled in price after the Las Vegas shooting and have spiked even higher since the NRA made its statement.

Here's a promotional video from the Slide Fire company, which is currently not selling the devices.

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