MIDDLETOWN — Gov. DannelP. Malloy announced Tuesday that he will propose a ban on all “rate of fire enhancements” when the legislature returns next month.
Under the proposal, possession of such enhancements, including bump stocks and binary trigger systems, would become a Class D felony.
“Bump stocks are cheap, they are deadly, and they have no place in our society,” Malloy said. “In Connecticut, we refuse to allow federal inaction to endanger the lives of our residents, despite the best efforts of powerful lobbyists from the NRA.”
So-called “rate of fire enhancements” gained national notoriety after a gunman used a bump stock to modify the firearm he used to kill 58 people at an October music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The incident is the deadliest mass shooting by an individual in U.S. history, and also left 546 people injured. The gunman killed himself before police were able to apprehend him.
The National Rifle Association voiced support for a ban on bump stocks in the days after the incident, but has since said it should be the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, not Congress, to enact the prohibition.
Connecticut Citizens’ Defense League President Scott Wilson said in a statement that only a minority of gun owners utilize such enhancements, but he wants to see the bill’s language to see if there are other ways legal gun owners might be impacted."
CCDL is the state’s largest advocacy group for gun owners. Wilson said in his statement that enhancements can be accomplished without purchasing some of the devices Malloy referenced, and said the governor was merely presenting “feel good” legislation, “ perhaps to distract from his poor approval ratings.”
“The devices in question that Malloy seeks to ban are not needed to replicate the rapid rate of fire,” Wilson said.“This effect can be easily accomplished by the use of a belt loop, a rubber band, or even just by holding a firearm a certain way. Moreover, the devices themselves can be easily made in a typical basement shop using everyday materials."
The proposed legislation defines a “rate of fire enhancement” as any device, component, part, combination of parts, attachment, or accessory that uses energy from the recoil of the firearm to generate a reciprocating action that facilitates repeated operation of the trigger.
Malloy said this definition would address bump stocks, binary trigger systems, and trigger cranks.