Senate Republicans Come Out Against “Bump Stock” Ban

Colorado Senate President Kevin Grantham.

The mass shooting last October in Las Vegas, Nevada that killed 59 people and wounded hundreds more brought to light a relatively novel modification to semiautomatic long guns to enable far higher rates of fire than can be achieved by pulling the trigger for each shot as the weapon was originally designed. So-called “bump stocks” were found installed on multiple weapons used by the Las Vegas shooter, enabling him to achieve a rate of fire that was indistinguishable to responding police from that of a machine gun.

Which he used to kill dozens and dozens of people.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting “bump stocks” were identified as a major contributor the outsize death toll, and lawmakers including Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado got behind legislation to quickly ban their sale. But as we’ve seen countless times in the wake of mass shooting incidents, the impetus for passing legislation quickly faded under intense “management” of the situation by gun lobbyists and PR professionals. Hardcore pro-gun activists like Dudley Brown of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners in Colorado crassly told news reporters that “bump stocks” were only for enthusiasts to “see what automatic fire sounds like.”

Nonetheless legislation has been introduced this year in the Colorado General Assembly to deal with “bump stocks.” Senate Bill 18-051 bans “multi-burst trigger activators,” including bump stocks and devices that automatically depress the trigger on semiautomatic weapons faster than a human could. And with over 80% of the public supportive of banning “bump stocks,” you’d assume it’s a no-brainer–right?

But as the Denver Post reports, you’d be wrong.

Senate President Kevin Grantham, who had a relative at the concert in Las Vegas where the shooting took place, is a prominent opponent.

“This won’t save a single soul,” the Canon City Republican said. [Pols emphasis] “This won’t help the problem that they perceive. I think all it does is infringe on somebody’s ability to operate within their Second Amendment rights.”

Who would seriously argue that a lower rate of fire in the Las Vegas shooting would not have saved lives? That’s the first clue that something is seriously amiss here. The high rate of fire afforded by the use of high-capacity magazines and “bump stocks” is exactly what made the Las Vegas shooting unprecedented in its destruction.

If that isn’t obvious to you, you’re in very deep denial.

Senate President Kevin Grantham goes on to explain that a ban on “bump stocks” would lead to infringement of “people’s rights to have pieces of equipment,” as if that’s something that doesn’t exist today? Of course there are “pieces of equipment” that are regulated in modern society, many of which are–wait for it–weapons! And that leads to a very basic question for the President of the Colorado Senate: should automatic weapons be legal? Should any weapon be legal? What kind of regulation of guns would not infringe on Second Amendment rights under Grantham’s expansive interpretation?

We’re not asking this question flippantly. Two years ago, Republicans in the Colorado legislature actually introduced legislation to ease to process of acquiring fully automatic weapons that require special licensure from the federal government. It may be wildly out of the mainstream, but it is not at all unreasonable to suggest–underscored by Grantham’s comments about “bump stocks”–that Colorado Republicans don’t support any regulations whatsoever on the type of weapons civilians can legally obtain.

And if that’s what Kevin Grantham believes, let’s stop screwing around and have him say so.

To as many voters as possible.

37 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Moderatus says:

    Gun control doesn't work. If someone wants a bump stock and you've banned them in Colorado, they go to Wyoming. It's a useless exercise that only harms law abiding citizens. Take your bad ideas to California!

    • unnamed says:

      So nutlid.  Do you think that there should be any regulations on "pieces of equipment"?

      Also how does calling for Hillary Clinton to be locked up square with being all about due process?

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      So, on the basis of that legal theory alone, Fluffy, why can’t you seem to get it through your numb nutlid skull that marijuana prohibition is a bust? . . . 

      . . . and — big bonus — compared to smoking people, smoking weed results in no deaths!


    • The realist says:

      "Gun  Weapon control doesn't work. If someone wants a bump stock nuclear weapon and you've banned them in Colorado, they go to Wyoming North Korea. It's a useless exercise that only harms law abiding citizens. Take your bad ideas to California the UN!" 

  2. allyncooper says:

    Second Amendment supporter and CCW permit holder here.  Any device which replicates fully automatic firing of a firearm should be prohibited by Federal law. Period.

  3. Voyageur says:

    This is a highly emotional topic.  But having watched the videos on pols, it is clear that bump stocks reduce the accuracy of the weapon, which is bouncing around from recoil.  Having shot expert on the m-16 in my army days, I think single fire or the three burst option on the marine version of the M16 is the most lethal combo.   Of course, firing in a crowd at distance like the vegas killing discounts aiming.  But there are other scenarios and it wouldn't be the first time the law of unintended consequences showed up in this arena.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      I’m not finding even the slightest bit of comfort in your average-joe-wanna’-be-mass-murderer being slightly less accurate with his rapid-fire-30-round-plus spray of hellfire via a bump stock? . . . 

      . . . I don’t see the issue as one of relative ranking on anyone’s absolute lethality scale, but rather at what point any potential lethality is warranted or advisable (outside of military or law-enforcement ).

      • Voyageur says:

        I'm afraid you are not very clear Dio.   I think your goal would be to get the gun away from the madman in the first place.   You don't seem to address the bump stock issue at all.  Again, judging by the videos, the degredation of accuracy is notsmall, it is huge.   The users just get their rocks off listening to the bang bangs.


        • Davie says:

          In a target-rich environment (like a densely packed crowd), accuracy isn't particularly important, which was apparently the Las Vegas shooter's primary criteria, based on all the reported alternate venues he cased.

          If it was easy to attain like the bump stock device, I suspect the Las Vegas shooter and any future emulators would prefer the Street Sweeper:


          The Armsel Striker also known as the Sentinel Arms Co Striker-12Protecta and Protecta Bulldog is a 12-gauge shotgun with a revolving cylinder that was designed for riot control and combat.

          The Striker and Streetsweeper were declared destructive devices under the National Firearms Act with no sporting purpose by Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen in 1994 and their transfer and ownership is regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).[8]

          If bump stocks are so innocuous as to not warrant restrictions, then hell, let's legalize streetsweepers.  We wouldn't want to inconvenience anyone, now would we?

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          Oh my, V, that suuuure look’s soooo tempting . . . 

          . . . how about, let’s just say that aiding the unnecessary rapid-fire of volumes of bullets by any palooka joe might possibly sometimes have a downside???

          (good luck with your snare, though . . . needs more carrot, maybe?)

  4. Voyageur says:

    The proportion of wounded to dead was much higher in vegas than in the florida night club shooting.   So far, there isno evidence that rapid unaimed fire is deadlier than brisk aimed fire.  Sadly, since nra pressure basically prohibits NIH from studying gun deaths we aren't likely to know.  For my part, if someone is shooting at me, I prefer the dope who doesn't bother to aim.  And if God is kind, give me my 03 Springfield and I'll kill the son of a bitch.

    • Davie says:

      V'ger, sorry, temporizing over kill to wounded ratios misses the point. The dead can't be brought back, and the wounded will never fully heal. 

      There will be more mass shootings by would be killers of all skill levels.  Lately, it seems there is a contest to see who can achieve the highest score.

      This is not a video game, nor a self-defense nor hunting device.

      Putting limits on weapons and devices that serve no purpose but mass human killing is the only point of this type of legislation.



      • Voyageur says:

        With no information and only a gut feeling, this legislation is likely to do more harm than good.  Is it really so wrong to actually want to consider facts?  Yes, it',s bad to be wounded but it's worse to be dead.  Essentially, you want a law banning unaimed fire and encouraging slower, but more deadly, aimed fire.  

        Why is this a good idea?

        • Davie says:

          So with no information and a gut feeling, you oppose this legislation.  Ok got it.  Have another Pabst and try this again in the morning. 😉

          Accuracy only matters if you care who you kill, not simply how many. We’re not talking budding Lee Harvey Oswalds here, remember.

          • Voyageur says:

            Accuracy matters a lot.  Hitting in center body mass increses chance of killing.  The majority of the body is less vulnerable.  And, yes, in general, I like to think passing a law will help something.   Just voting for something that feels good and will give me a political talking point but will actually make the problem worse doesn't strikeme as a sound policy.

            • Davie says:

              I fail to see how nipping the problem of proliferating bump stocks in the bud "will make the problem worse".  Getting shot in a vital part of the body from a randomly sprayed bullet vs. a carefully aimed one doesn't matter if both are fatal.  That is the fallacy that I see in your logic.  More bullets in a densely packed crowd will lead to higher mortality, regardless of the skill of the shooter.

              Nevertheless, we both know this bill will not get out of a GOP-majority Senate, so we'll just have to wait until next year to see if it has any better luck.  Please do help craft any legislation you feel will solve the larger issue of enhancing gun safety, including gathering statistics.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      For my part, most days that I can think of anyway, I’d prefer not to be shot at . . . 

      . . . by anyone.

      And, I’m gonna’ continue to posit that making it easier to shoot more bullets at anyone, isn’t making anyone’s life easier — regardless, of any relative lethality index anyone wishes (god know why?) to construct.

      • Voyageur says:

        God knows, it's no use arguing with someone who fears facts.  But as a basic principle, isn't it better to be fired at and missed than to be fired at and hit?

        Yes, it's better not to be fired at atall.  But you seem content to give assault rifles to madmen in return for their promise to only aim deliberately at their victims.  I know, I know, I will never understand the liberal mind.


        • Diogenesdemar says:

          I’m not sure in what hypothetical world anyone ever gets to choose who is shooting at him? Please advise.

          I guess if anyone ever did have a choice of preferred shooter your “facts” (which I haven’t disputed and am not disputing, BTW) might, might just maybe, have some practical meaning, but in this universe. . .

          My druthers are, in the following order:

          1. Yes, that no one be shooting in my general direction regardless of their skill level, world class expert sniper or Elmer Fudd. I know that sounds crazy, huh? I guess being shot at has never been very high on my list of things that would make for a really great day. YMMV.

          2. Regardless of whether it’s world-class-expert-sniper or Elmer Fudd who has decided to begin shooting in my direction, my preference would be that once they start flinging their lead, that the number of bullets immediately available in whatever platform(s) they’re using be “fewer” as opposed to “more.” for whatever time-frame that flinging mayhem is occurring (e.g., one per second is better than two per second, twelve per second is better than twelve-hundred per second, . . .) YMMV.

          3. No one is arguing for a law pitting aimed vs. unaimed fire. (No one here — maybe the voices in your head, but the rest of us aren’t hearing those, interesting as they may be . . . )

          4. YMMV. (That’s cool. I can’t say I really don’t give a fuck, but . . .)

          5.  Whatever other blargle you’re spewing doesn’t change any of the above.  OooohRah!

          6. Trained sniper’s are bitchin’ hot, hot, hot — I think we’re unanimous in that opinion. I’m unanimous, anyway.

          ps.  If it’s really “no use,” feel free to quit banging your head.

          pps.  unless that helps with that voice in your head thing

          ppps. Did I mention that trained sniper’s are hot?

      • mamajama55 says:

        Dio, he's pivoted to personal attacks already. There will be no more rational debate. With V, you've got maybe two semi-logical exchanges before he starts reading your mind, predicting your intentions, putting up strawmen, throwing mud at you and inviting you to wrestle in it.  You're there now. Just FYI.

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          We all gotta’ have our hobbies, I spose’ . . . 

        • Voyageur says:

          You really have come to hate me, haven't you, mj?  The price of bursting a few of your balloons, I guess.  Well, have a good hate.

          You'll always have zappaterosmiley

          • mamajama55 says:

            Don't hate anyone – It's bad for my health. However, I’ve learned to recognize an exercise in futility when I see one.

          • Duke Cox says:

            My dear, Voyageur..

            May I suggest not getting hate involved in your debate with mama. I don't think mama has ever displayed hatefulness here. Quite the contrary.

            You may benefit from stepping back out of the trees so you can see the forest. What you are essentially saying to us all is that you think you could have killed more concert goers than the Vegas shooter, which should convince us that we should allow some bozo who is not a marksman to buy "equipment" sufficient to become a killing machine.

            A dispassionate comparison of kill rates seems very cold and uncaring. It is a bit shocking to non-marksman sensibilities.

            Comparing your ability to kill to his is pretty meaningless to most of us. It just seems heartless…and I know you are not.☺

            • Voyageur says:

              I think there is room for some dispassion here, duke.  Intentionally or not, dio seems to be saying he is fine with assault rifles and high capacity magazines in the hands of madmen but draws the line at bump stocks which, based on a comparison of the florida, vegas rampages, actually may have saved some lives in vegas, albeit at the cost of more wounded.

              Talk about swallowing the elephant and choking on the gnat.

              • Diogenesdemar says:

                Ain’t me saying that,V.  Never have, never will. 

                dio seems to be saying he is fine with assault rifles and high capacity magazines in the hands of madmen but draws the line at bump stocks

                If it confuses you as to why I’m not voicing opposition here to all assault rifles in private hands (which, btw, I generally do):

                1.  That’s not the topic of this legislation, or diary.  Bump-stocks, however, are.

                2.  I also recognize that it’s easier to stop the proliferation of bump stocks into a larger problem, because, they are now relatively few compared to the millions of assault rifles already in private hands — that ship has pretty much sailed, and I don’t see any way that will be accepted of hauling her back to port.

                If you want to argue against things that no one ever voiced, great.  Like I said, “hobby”?  But, I’ve got my own hobbies, already — thank you very much — defending what I never said to you is unlikely to ever become one of mine . . . 

                Peace on you!




              • Voyageur says:

                In the florida night club shooting, there were 49 dead (plus the perp) and 58 wounded.  In Vegas, 58 dead and about 500 wounded.   Given the staggering amount of firepower the vegas perp assembled and his high ground ambush position, I think it's reasonable to suggest that the bump stock, by causing unaimed and random fire, actually saved lives.

                Bump stocks are a kind of gunnie porn, apparently.   Like other porn, the question is whether they foster violent action or satiate those impulses.  

                So, yes, I think it might be worth hearing expert testimony before passing a bill that might actually make a horrible situation worse.

    • DaftPunk says:

      What was the relative range of shots fired at these two mass shootings?  Do you think the order of magnitude difference might have had an effect on your outcome measure? This is not a controlled experiment, so the results are not comparable.

      • Voyageur says:

        For obvious reasons, daft one, we don't have control groups for mass murders.  Looking at vegas does show 9 wounded for every fatality , vs. Almost 1:1 (58-49) in florida.

        I assume the wild firing from the bump stocks caused many misses.  The miss shots could then richochet, shatter, and otherwise hit cowering victims.  Nasty stuff, but robbed of most of its kinetic energy and thus causing largely superficial hurt to most victims.

        Yes, it would be nice to actually have some data.  Based on what we do know, it appears that, by making it impossible to aim, bump stocks reduce the lethality of assault- style weapons.

        Also, bump may increase the rate of fire but that doesn't increase rounds fired– it simply means you have to reload and\or run out of ammo sooner.  Vegas killer had almost unlimited ammo but others have not.

        So far, I have seen no evidence bump stocks increase lethality.  Indeed, the idiots firing them on you tube didn't even try to hit the targets.   They just came in their pants from the rapid bang bang.  

        As I say, gunnie porn.   But if this bills sponsors have some actual evidence that bump stocks makes assault rifles more lethal, let them show it.

        Fyi, a marine expert I know says their m16 can be set to fire bursts of three.  That is optimal for combat because after three rounds, the weapon has been pulled off target.   

        Based on the marines's experience and watching the youtube demonstration, I think the evidence shows bump stocks make assault rifles less effective at killing.   Instead of banning them, maybe we should reqire them.

        • DaftPunk says:

          We don't have control groups, but yet you feel confident in your conclusions, which conveniently match your prejudices, based on your egotism as a trained marksman.  All mass killers must therefore behave like marksmen. Shooting indoors where a few hundred people are gathered is directly comparable to shooting outdoors from an elevated position into a crowd of 25,000.  Because you were trained in the Army. And watched a YouTube video.

          In your military training, did you shoot in to large crowds of unarmed civilians? Since that would be a war crime, I'm guessing not. When engaging a specific target a three round burst is best.  No argument. Congratulations for your surgical disembowelment of that virile straw man.

          Your framing is wrong.  Misses imply aiming.

          How does one aim when shooting fish in a barrel?

          To rephrase your conclusion (from a YouTube video, then it's settled!) bump stocks make assault rifles less effective at aiming.  If you wanted to substitute "efficient" for "effective" (at killing,) you'd be accurate. This legislation is aimed at reducing the risk of madmen firing into crowds. Comparing a killed to wounded ratio, even if circumstances were identical, ignores the force multiplier of rounds down range, which increases the body count.

          You don't need to know marksmanship to figure that out, just fourth grade math.

          • Voyageur says:

            At least, I gave the matter some thought and logic.  Sorry if that offended you.  FYI, it has been 47 years since I fired an m-16 and your insult to "my egotism as a trained marksman" is simply showing your disrespect for military service, your ignorance of the question of marksmanship and your utter unwillingness to consider any information, such as the you-tube videos, that might shed information on the subject.

            Hoist the banner of ignorance high!

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