Schumer slams Republicans for blocking ‘life and death’ bump stock ban after Supreme Court ruling

Schumer slams Republicans for blocking ‘life and death’ bump stock ban after Supreme Court ruling

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed Republican Senators for blocking an attempt to bring legislation to ban bump stocks to the Senate floor after the Supreme Court overturned a Trump-era ban on the devices.

Senate Democrats had hoped to put legislation that would ban bump stocks — devices that can be attached to semi-automatic weapons that allow them to fire faster — to a vote on Tuesday.

The bill came after Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a 6-3 ruling that under the Trump administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had incorrectly acted under the Trump administration to ban bump stocks.

The Trump administration had taken action to ban bump stocks after a shooter fired 1,000 rounds into a crowd at a country music festival in Las Vegas, killing 58 people in 11 minutes.

In the wake of the shooting, some Republicans expressed openness to either voting to ban bump stocks or allowing the ATF to ban them. In the wake of the shooting, nine Republican senator sent a letter to the ATF asking it to review the sale of bump stocks.

In turn, Schumer charged Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico to push for his legislation to ban bump stocks, which he called “a matter of life and death.”

In a floor speech, Schumer also cited previous remarks Senate Majority Whip John Thune, often thought to be a successor to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina saying they would vote to get rid of bump stocks.

“If banning bump stocks was good enough for Republicans in the past, it should be good enough for them today,” he said. “But if Republicans block this bill today, after claiming to support bump stock bans in years past, a ban even President Trump supported when he was president, shame on them. They’d be siding with the gun lobby over families exasperated by gun violence.”

But Republican Senator Pete Ricketts of Nebraska objected to a request by Heinrich for unanimous consent for the bill, saying that Schumer was showboating simply because the court ruled in a way that he did not like.

“He claims this bill will ban bump stocks, but just like his previously misnamed bills, if you actually read the bill, that's not what it does at all,” Ricketts said in a floor speech.

Ricketts also charged that the legislation would also ban devices beyond bump stocks, which Heinrich refuted.

“It would however, ban bump stocks and it would ban things like block switches, which also let semi automatic firearms act as fully automatic firearms,” he said. “I think the American people understand what common sense gun safety looks like.”

Even if the legislation would have passed the House of Representatives, the legislation would likely have faced major hurdles in the House, given that Republicans have the majority in the lower chamber.