Former AG McKenna: Weapon modification bans aren’t unusual
In the wake of America’s deadliest mass shooting in Las Vegas, people have put forth a range of actions to combat the tragic byproduct of firearms — from gun control to lawsuits.
What is likely to happen with firearms after Vegas?
According to former Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna, the bump stock could come under heavy scrutiny in legislatures and in courtrooms. The modification allows people to fire semi-automatic rifles rapidly.
One option could be a lawsuit targeted at bump stock manufacturers. But McKenna said that would be a more difficult response.
“It’s more of a standard of recklessness, or negligence of manufacturing an item that is prone to misuse,” McKenna said of the legal arguments.
“I think a lawsuit would be harder to succeed with than a statute if policy makers decided to pass a law limiting them,” he said.
Bump stock ban
Lawmakers could put a bump stock ban up for a vote. Similar bans have been approved in the past.
“They’ve passed other laws limiting silencers, large magazines, etc. Those are policy decisions that probably don’t cross the line into Second Amendment violations …” McKenna said.
Some form of regulating bump stocks could be on the horizon. The News Tribune reports that the “NRA gave Republicans a green light” to review the firearm attachments. It could lead to limiting or banning them. NRA leaders Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox reportedly said, “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
Other responses could stray more into the gun control debate.
“You might also see legislation that tries to limit the number of semi-automatic weapons someone can own, which is going to be hard to enforce,” McKenna said. “So that means the next step they are going to look at is reporting into a database individuals who buy several semi-automatic weapons.”
“As the head of the ATF, who was on the scene in Las Vegas, has said, they would have been notified if he bought multiple handguns,” he said. “But they were not notified (he) had bought multiple semi-automatic weapons.”
Listen to the interview with McKenna here.