Sacramento, California - California Attorney General Xavier Becerra earlier this week joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from 29 states, 3 territories and the District of Columbia in urging Congress to examine current federal gun laws with respect to “bump stocks,” which may have contributed to mass casualties in the Las Vegas tragedy on October 1. In a letter to congressional leadership, the Attorneys General note that bump stock devices – plastic or metal pieces attached to a firearm’s stock designed to increase the ability to fire like a fully automatic weapon – may be used to evade current machine gun laws.
It has been widely reported that the Las Vegas gunman modified otherwise lawful semi-automatic rifles with “bump stocks” to kill 58 innocent people and injure hundreds more. The Attorneys General urge Congress to evaluate whether bump stocks should be regulated like machine guns in order to protect people from the dangers posed by unrestricted fully automatic weapons.
“Members of Congress cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand when it is comes to gun violence," said Attorney General Becerra. “Congress must take the necessary steps to evaluate the harm of bump stocks and take action. California and many other states have proven that we can address gaps in our gun laws and enact measures to keep our families and communities safe. My fellow Attorneys General and I agree that it’s time for Congress to step up.”
Bump stocks are classified as “multiburst trigger activators,” which California outlawed in 1990. Earlier this month, the California Department of Justice issued an advisory to remind gun retailers that bump stocks are illegal in the state.
Attorney General Becerra joined the multistate effort led by the Attorneys General of Nevada and Massachusetts. Also joining the letter were the Attorneys General of Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawai’i, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, and Wisconsin.