BOSTON-On Oct. 12, the Massachusetts Senate voted to ban bump stock and trigger cranks and classify them under the same general law that governs machine guns. The amendment, offered by Senator Cynthia Creem (D-Newton) establishes identical penalties, eighteen months to life in prison, for the use and possession of bump stocks and trigger cranks as current law holds for machine guns.
“Bump stocks and trigger cranks effectively change the nature of a semi-automatic weapon to make it into a machine gun. There is no legitimate purpose for the use, sale, and possession of these devices or than to cause as much damage as possible,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst). “Taking this action today protects public safety, provides ample time for residents to comply, and establishes sufficient penalties for violations.”
“I hear time and time again from constituents about the need for commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence,” said Senator Friedman (D-Arlington). “We took a step in the right direction today, and I’m proud of the Senate for taking swift action to ban ‘bump stocks’ and ‘trigger cranks’ in the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy. This amendment will make our communities safer and I sincerely hope that other states choose to follow our lead.”
“This amendment is a necessary and appropriate response to the dangers inherent in these deadly devices,” said Senator Cynthia Creem. “The horror of the mass shootings in Las Vegas is unfortunately just the latest incident which calls out for the adoption of more sensible gun laws both here and nationally.”
“The Senate’s bipartisan action means that those who are not appropriately licensed to possess devices that are in effect approximating a machine gun will be in violation of our state’s comprehensive firearms laws,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester).
The amendment also instructs the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to notify licensed owners and manufacturers of bump stocks and trigger cranks of the effective date of the changes.
Bump stocks use the recoil power of a weapon to effectively increase the rate of fire to make the gun a fully automatic assault weapon, which have been illegal in Massachusetts since 1994. On Sunday October 1, fifty-eight people were murdered and hundreds injured by alleged killer Stephen Paddock at a Las Vegas country music festival. Law enforcement found multiple bump stocks and trigger cranks in Paddock’s hotel room where the shooting originated.
The House of Representative passed a similar bump stock ban and the two versions will be reconciled before being sent to the Governor’s desk for his signature.