Illinois moves closer to bump stock ban

(Cole Lauterbach for INN) — Members of the Illinois House of Representatives could soon send a ban on a gun accessory used in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting that killed 58 people to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk.

Critics say it’s a redundancy of a federal law and could put people traveling through the state in prison.

The state Senate sent a standalone ban on bump stocks to the House Thursday. The gun accessories use the recoil of a rifle shot to pull the trigger again, mimicking the rapid-fire shooting capability of a fully-automatic rifle. The proposed law would make possession of a bump stock a Class 2 felony, punishable by 3 to 7 years in prison.

Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, said his bill carries a fitting punishment considering the damage the devices can cause.

“The penalty is the same for owning a fully-automatic weapon or something that makes a gun fire rapidly,” he said.

An earlier version allowed local governments to ban assault-style rifles, but it failed. Republicans cried foul, saying banning bump stocks were something both sides had agreed to and Democrats added the local assault-style rifles ban language as a “poison pill.”

Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia, said the punishment in Raoul’s proposal was far too severe, warning that it could ensnare people passing through the state from a place where bump stocks are legal.

“I would urge that we be very careful with this legislation, especially when it comes to law-abiding citizens that already possess these and are traveling across state lines,” he said.

Anderson said that the punishment for owning a bump stock would be more severe than “shooting a pistol into a crowd.” Raoul denied that.

The man who killed 58 and wounded hundreds more in Las Vegas in the October 2017 shooting used bump stocks on his guns.

This story was republished with permission from the Illinois News Network.