Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that no law would have stopped the Las Vegas shooter from buying guns and committing the massacre of 58 people on October 1. When show host John Dickerson asked: “Could there have been any law passed that would’ve stopped him?” Feinstein replied: “No, he passed background checks registering for handguns and other weapons on multiple occasions.”
Feinstein spoke on the program about so-called “bump fire stocks,” one of which the Las Vegas murderer used to modify his semi-automatic rifles, enabling them to fire at nearly the rate of automatic weapons. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, bump stocks are currently allowed. Despite her admission that no additional laws would have stopped the killer, Feinstein called for a law to prohibit bump stocks.
Since the shooting, the National Rifle Association and some Republicans have signalled a willingness to consider regulating bump stock regulations. Calling their move a “step forward,” Feinstein told Dickerson:
“Well, I thought that’s a step forward, and it’s appreciate — it’s appreciated. [But] regulations aren’t going to do it. We need a law. It can’t be changed by another president. Right now we’re seeing one president change actions of a — of a president that came before him, and that would happen in this area. And I hope that Americans will step up and say, “Enough is enough. Congress, do something.”
When Dickerson asked Feinstein what she thinks a banning semi-automatic “military-style” rifles, she admitted that she agreed that a ban may be appropriate. Feinstein said, “I agree with them to a great extent. What I don’t — because, as you know, I did the assault weapons legislation in 1993, which was law of the land for 10 years. So I believe, I mean I’ve watched this thing from the Texas bell tower to today, in schools, in businesses, in workplaces. No one appears to be safe anywhere.”
In addition, Feinstein said she is firmly opposed to allow reciprocity in all states for concealed carry permits.
The Violence Policy Center, among other gun-control groups, has applauded Feinstein for the bill she introduced. In a statement, the VPC declared:
esponse to a bill introduced today by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to ban “bump fire” and similar devices that allow semiautomatic assault weapons (like the ones found with the Las Vegas shooter) to mimic full-auto fire, Violence Policy Center (VPC) Legislative Director Kristen Rand issued the following statement:
“We commend Senator Feinstein for taking a leadership role as she has advocated for controls on these devices for years. Banning ‘bump fire’ and similar devices that allow semiautomatic assault weapons to mimic full-auto machine gun fire is the absolute least that can be done in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. These devices have absolutely no legitimate purpose and when attached to a semiautomatic assault rifle make a weapon originally designed for anti-personnel use even more lethal. In a rational world, Senator Feinstein’s bill would move swiftly through Congress with little debate.”
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.