LINCOLN–Multi-burst trigger activators, commonly known as bump stocks, would be forbidden under a new bill that was heard by the Judiciary Committee on Jan. 25 at the Nebraska State Capitol.
Legislative Bill 780, introduced by Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln, would prohibit the manufacture, sale, import and possession of mult-iburst trigger activators. Bump stocks enable faster firing when attached to semi-automatic guns. Some bump stocks can fire 100 rounds in as little as seven minutes, Pansing Brooks said at the hearing.
If the bill should pass, a person in possession of the gun accessory would be guilty of a Class IV felony which is punishable by up to two years in prison and 12 years of post-release supervision, a fine of $10,000, or both. Pansing Brooks said an amnesty program would be implemented should the bill pass, and those in possession of bump stocks would be able to relinquish the accessories to law enforcement.
Pansing Brooks said the bill was an “avenue worth pursuing,” after the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1, 2017. Bump stocks were found on the guns believed to be used by the perpetrator, who killed 59 people and injured 489.
“Citizens need greater protections against mass shootings,” Pansing Brooks said. “These are not necessary for self-defense or hunting–they are used for fun.”
Ron Todd-Meyer, a proponent of LB 780 who spoke on behalf of Nebraskans For Peace, said bump stocks should only be allowed for use in the military and law enforcement.
“The mass slaughter caused by these weapons have no place in civilized society,” Todd-Meyer said. “Gun violence is an issue in this country that we need to address.”
However, Shane Kepler of Lincoln spoke out against the bill during the hearing and said that banning bump stocks wouldn’t solve the issue of gun violence because the accessories can be easily created or manipulated by gun owners.
“Anyone who wants to cause harm will find a way,” Kepler said. “Anyone with an average skill set can fire a firearm to cause destruction.”
Rod Moeller, director of government affairs for the Nebraska Firearm Owners Association, also spoke against of the bill. Moeller said that the ban would be an infringement on citizens’ Second Amendment right to bear arms. Moeller also said he is frustrated at the thought of turning over something he at one time legally paid for.
“All of us would become criminals,” Moeller said.
However, Pansing Brooks said that prohibiting bump stocks would not be an infringement on anyone’s Second Amendment rights and that the argument was a “baseless claim” since it’s an accessory and not the weapon itself.
“There is no Second Amendment right to an accessory,” Pansing Brooks said.
The committee took no immediate action on the bill.