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State Senator

Gary Winfield

Representing New Haven & West Haven

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New Haven Senators Vote to Pass Bill Banning Bump Stocks

Rapid-fire devices can turn semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic machine guns

HARTFORD, CT – Democrats in the State Senate today led passage of critical public safety legislation banning bump stocks which can turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons. Bump stocks are devices that transform the firing mechanism of a semi-automatic weapon into a weapon that fires like a fully automatic weapon; a bump stock was used in the Las Vegas shooting, where the shooter was able to fire an estimated 90 shots in 10 seconds. It also makes the weapon less accurate.

“Semi-automatic weapons with a bump stock device have been used in a mass shooting where clearly accuracy was not an important criterion to the shooter,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven).  “There is no legitimate reason why bump stocks should be owned or sold in our state. They have no legitimate use in civilian life.”

“The Vegas shooter left 58 people dead and was also able to injure hundreds more just by tacking on one of these bump stocks to his weapon,” said Senator Gary Winfield (D-New Haven). “No average citizen should be able to walk around our communities with that kind of ammunition.”

HB 5542, An Act Concerning Bump Stocks and Other Means of Enhancing the Rate of Fire of a Firearm, generally makes it a class D felony for anyone, except a licensed firearms manufacturer fulfilling a military contract, to sell, offer to sell, otherwise transfer, or offer to transfer, purchase, possess, use, or manufacture a “rate of fire enhancement” (e.g., a bump stock). By law, a class D felony is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine up to $5,000, or both.

Massachusetts, California, Washington, Vermont, New Jersey, and Florida have already passed laws banning bump stocks and other rapid-fire devices.

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