COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Democratic state Sen. Cecil Thomas introduced Friday a bill that would ban the manufacture, sale and possession of "bump stock" devices like those used by the gunman in the Oct. 1 Las Vegas mass shooting.
"Bump stocks," which were attached to 12 of the weapons gunman Stephen Paddock brought to his Mandalay Bay hotel room, are a group of attachments that harness a weapon's natural recoil in order to facilitate a much higher rate of fire. Many semi-automatic weapons fitted with these devices can fire at nearly the rate of a machine gun.
Under Thomas' proposed bill, which would amend existing state gun control statutes, any person found to possess a rate-accelerating gun attachment would be guilty of a fourth-degree felony.
Similar bills and lawsuits sprouted across the country in the aftermath of the Vegas shooting. The National Rifle Association announced that it would support a review -- although not a ban -- of bump-fire devices; Ohio Gov. John Kasich voiced his support for a ban; and law firm Eglet Prince and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed suit Oct. 10 against a leading manufacturer of bump-fire stocks on behalf of the 500 festival attendees injured in Paddock's attack.
"This law in absolutely no way excuses what the killer did,” the organizations wrote in a news release. "No one feels more strongly about his horrific acts than our clients. But those who enable and facilitate killers like that, and choose to profit off of them while endangering us all, must pay the consequences."