As Delaware Lawmakers Look to Ban Bump Stocks, Some Concerns Rai - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

As Delaware Lawmakers Look to Ban Bump Stocks, Some Concerns Raised

Posted: Jan 10, 2018 7:08 PM Updated:

DOVER, Del. --- A bill making it a felony criminal offense to possess, sell, or buy a bump stock in Delaware is set to be considered by the Delaware General Assembly this month, though some gun owners and lawmakers have raised concerns about the idea of punishing people who already own bump stocks.

House Bill 300 makes it illegal to buy, sell, or possess, "a trigger crank, bump-fire device, or any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun." Violating the proposed law would be a Class E felony.

The legislation was filed in response to last year's mass shooting in Las Vegas that left more than 50 people dead and hundreds injured. Authorities said gunman Stephen Paddock had semi-automatic rifles with bump stocks when he opened fire on a crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival from a hotel room overlooking the area.

But Jerry Burkert, owner of Puffin Gun Shop in Dover, said he believes the bill may make it illegal to own a number of attachments used by many people involved in sport shooting.

"In a situation in which it's the interpretation by someone that's bringing charges--their opinion--if you leave it too broad then they don't have a hard check," he said.

House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst (D-Delaware City) said she plans to amend the bill to include a provision allowing a period of time for people to turn in bump stocks to law enforcement and may be open to other revisions following a committee hearing.

But Longhurst said she plans to move ahead with the legislation, despite the concerns.

"With what happened in Vegas, to me, that's a no-brainer that these bump stocks, nobody should have them," she said.

But Rep. Jeff Spiegelman (R-Clayton) said he is worried about the idea of people who already own bump stocks becoming felons under the law and the potential for creating a "slippery slope" on firearm-related restrictions.

Spiegelman said he'd be interested in potentially seeing some sort of grandfather clause for people who already own bump stocks and also pointed out the fact that bump stocks could potentially be produced through 3D printing.

"You can't ban something that people already own, especially something that can be easily replicated at home," he said.

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