S.C. Rep. Leon and Anne Stavrinakis
Following the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, legislators are now considering far-reaching bans on a device that may have allowed Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock to dramatically increase the death toll.
After opening fire from a high-rise looking over a nearby music festival, authorities found Paddock dead inside his 32-floor suite. Inside the room, police discovered more than 20 firearms, some outfitted with "bump stocks" — a device that allows semi-automatic weapons to mimic the rapid-fire capabilities of fully automatic weapons. On Thursday, South Carolina Rep. Leon Stavrinakis announced a plan to introduce legislation in the state House to ban bump fire devices in South Carolina.
"Simply put, the use of bump stocks is a loophole that allows legal firearms to replicate illegal ones," said Stavrinakis in a press release. "As we have so unfortunately now learned, in the wrong hands bump stocks can be a tool for mass murder. These devices can turn our community into a killing field where neither civilians nor law enforcement has a chance in the line of fire."
With fully automatic weapons banned in the United States since 1986, the use of bump stocks to fire uninterrupted bursts from a semi-automatic weapon has drawn intense scrutiny from lawmakers following the Las Vegas attack that left 59 dead and approximately 500 injured. As the author of the "Boland Bill" in 2013, Stavrinakis was responsible for enacting gun restrictions in South Carolina that prevent individuals found to have a mental illness from purchasing firearms.
"Banning bump stocks would not ban or seize a single firearm in this state nor would it deny one person their Second Amendment right to bear arms," Stavrinakis said. "I look forward to working on a bipartisan basis to approve this common-sense measure that will make South Carolina a safer place for our families."