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RI congressional delegation signs on to ban on ‘bump stocks’

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WPRI) – Rhode Island’s four Democratic congressmen have signed on to a bill in both the House and Senate chambers to ban the use of so-called “bump stocks,” devices that can be used to convert semi-automatic weapons to shoot automatic gunfire.

Rep. David Cicilline introduced the “Automatic Gunfire Prevention Act” in the House Wednesday. The bill would ban bump-fire stocks, trigger cranks or any device or accessory that accelerates the rate of fire from a semi-automatic weapon.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said Stephen Paddock, the gunman who rained bullets down on concertgoers on the Las Vegas strip Sunday night, had 12 bump-stock devices that allowed him to convert semi-automatic weapons to fire automatic gunfire.

At least 58 people were killed in the shooting.

“There’s no good reason for anyone to have one of those devices,” Rep. Cicilline said in a interview with the Eyewitness News Washington Bureau. “It will only increase the likelihood that tremendous harm can come to a community if someone were to use that.”

The bill was also introduced in the Senate, co-sponsored by both Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse. Rep. Jim Langevin is co-sponsoring the House bill.

Eyewitness News asked Ed Doyle from the Rhode Island chapter of Gun Rights Across America what he thought of the proposed ban.

“Should they be legal to own? I will answer it [this] way…should it be legal to sell fireworks so easily obtained and a pressure cooker or two or three? It is the person not the object that has the evil intent to kill,” Doyle said in an email.

It is still to be seen if the proposal will get a vote in the Republican-controlled congress, but several Republicans have so far said they would be open to looking at the issue.