Assembly bill seeks to outlaw “bump stocks” and other rapid-fire devices

Image created by Phoenix7777, via Wikipedia Commons
A bump-fire stock, demonstrated in this image, is one of several ways to alter a semi-automatic rifle to increase its firing rate.

A new bill prohibiting the use of “bump-fire” rifle stocks and other rapid fire modifications has been introduced in the New York state Assembly.

Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-Albany, wrote the legislation that is similar to, but not the same as, a recent Senate bill (S.6902) that would close a loophole in the current state law.

The possession, manufacturing, transportation, shipment and sale of any item accelerating a semi-automatic weapon’s rate of fire would be prohibited under the proposed law.

The bill, A.8717, has been referred to the Assembly Codes Committee and is co-sponsored by Assemblymembers Heastie, D-Bronx; Lentol, D-Brooklyn; Simotas, D-Astoria; Steck, D-Loudonville; Mosley, D-Crown Heights; and McDonald, D-Troy.

Section 265.01 of the Penal Law would be amended to outlaw the possession of “bump stocks” or any other equipment that increases the firing rate of semi-automatic weapons.

The amendment to the law calls for criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree if the guilty possesses a trigger crank, a bump-fire device, or any attachment that alters the firing rate. In addition, the manufacturing of those devices would be considered a class E felony.

State Democrats are working toward gun regulations in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre which left 58 dead and 527 wounded.

A number of the shooter’s rifles recovered at the crime scene were equipped with bump-fire stocks which allowed him to fire at a rate near that of an automatic rifle. The weapon attachment is currently legal because it does not technically modify the weapon. A “bump stock” uses the weapon’s recoil to quickly bounce the trigger back into a shooter’s trigger finger repeatedly, drastically increasing the rate of fire.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele, I-Southampton, urged Albany and Washington to “correct this flaw” immediately.

“The tragedy in Las Vegas clearly points to a flaw in both state and federal firearms laws,” Thiele said. “There is no valid reason that any citizen needs to possess the functional equivalent of a machine gun.”