A bump fire stock, also known as a bump stock, is a device that effectively turns a semiautomatic weapon into an automatic weapon, also known as a machine gun. Automatic weapons are banned in the United States (at least new ones), but bump fire stocks are legal because they don't alter the internal functioning of a semiautomatic weapon. This has come into the news lately, because the mass shooting in Las Vegas was done with bump fire stocks, which allowed the shooter to simulate machine gun fire.

My question is, are there any Republicans who oppose banning bump fire stocks? In the days after the shooting, I've seen several Republicans say that they would be willing to at least consider banning bump fire stocks. But are there any Republicans who have publicly stated their opposition to banning bump fire stocks?

EDIT: The NRA just issued a statement calling for "additional regulations" on bump stocks. And White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders just said that President Trump is open to discussing a ban on bump stocks. So that would probably limit the number of Republicans opposing such a ban.

  • 1
    I think its highly unlikely that you will find any politician stating their opposing bump fire stocks after the recent LV shooting. Such a statement would be political suicide without a cause, and it's still a very recent shooting. Politicians are still sending out their condolences. IIf statements were made, they would more likely be making sweeping generalizations about the importance of gun rights, made long ago (not days ago) and only mentioning bump firing if they absolutely have to.
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 4:41
  • 1
    I don't have research to actually answer the question directly, but bump stocks are not popular among shooters. They're actually pretty useless for any situation a real firearms enthusiast could care about. Protecting bump stocks would be supporting an almost nonexistent constituency, in the face of a trajedy. However, it's not trivial to ban them without banning all sorts of other mods, so politicans could stand behind mods in general, which might oppose a bump-fire stock ban as collateral damage. That would at least support a real constituency.
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 4:46
  • 3
    The answer to "Do any _________ oppose _________" is usually "yes". There's always at least a few. (Whether that actually changes how they'd vote is an entirely different question...)
    – user1530
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 15:58
  • 1
    @blip I'm just trying to find out if any Republicans have publicly stated that they oppose banning bump fire stocks. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 16:14
  • 2
    Well...the Trump admin seems to now be blaming the shooting on Obama's admin not banning bump stocks which could be interpreted as meaning Trump is for banning bump stocks? Who knows? cnn.com/2017/10/05/politics/… (Which is interesting given that Trump has mostly been courting the NRA member...)
    – user1530
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


Rep. Bill Flores is evidently for banning bump stocks, and even Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich seems to think it is common sense. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said "I have no problem in banning [bump stocks]".

Republicans that have not come out in favor of an actual ban generally aren't arguing that they should not be banned, but are making the argument that it is not yet appropriate to be making quick, reactionary actions. President Trump's stance began as "We're not going to talk about that today. We won’t talk about that." Though he has since explained further that "We will be talking about gun laws as time goes by." Talking points evidently released by the White House push back on the current drive for gun legislation broadly:

And when it comes to gun control let's be clear: new laws won't stop a mad man committed to harming innocent people. They will curtail the freedoms of law-abiding citizens.

A counterexample to the delaying argument is Steve Scalise, who is the Republican Majority Whip in the House who was recently a victim of gun violence himself:

"The country has debated it," Mr. Scalise said of gun control. "It was a major issue in the presidential election. It's a major issue in a lot of congressional races. If the country wanted more gun control, I think you would see different makeups in Congress."


As @blip noted in a comment to the question, you can always find someone who is for something, so to finally be able to arrive at a final answer to the title question: Yes. From CNN:

"I'm a Second Amendment man. I'm not for any gun control. None," said Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama when asked if he'd be open to any regulations or bans on the devices.

That argument is pretty self-explanatory. While not outright excluding a ban on bump stocks, Pat Toomey is skeptical of the approach of targeting specific accessories. From the same link:

"I am very skeptical about legislation that attempts to ban features and particular guns," said Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. "I haven't looked at it, but I'm skeptical."

  • 2
    I'm not asking for examples of Republicans who support banning bump stocks or Republicans who refuse to answer, I'm looking for Republicans who have publicly stated opposition to such a ban. Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 13:13
  • 4
    @KeshavSrinivasan And my answer is that I have not found that any prominent Republican who has explicitly stated "I do not support banning bump stocks," yet. I cannot predict the future, so I have answered with what I have found available so far. In fact, I would expect that most Republicans who would wish to do so would probably fall in line behind Rep. Scalise's argument, rather than argue for the merits of bump stocks directly.
    – user5155
    Commented Oct 5, 2017 at 13:15
  • It is completely irrelevant if they ban it or not as it can be 3-D printed with relative ease: washingtonexaminer.com/… Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 7:42
  • @JonathanReez There are plenty of people who grew plants with relative ease in prison right now who probably felt the same way.
    – user5155
    Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 9:11
  • 1
    @JonathanReez Perhaps you can't stop bad people from doing bad things, but you can at least try to keep less-smart ones from being successful while you're hoping that more people are good than there are bad, for whatever qualitative measurement that interests you the most. I agree with you that if they ban bump stocks that it doesn't mean the next mass shooting will be averted, but it will present another indicator that you can use to distinguish law-abiding gun owners from criminals (by redefinition, admittedly).
    – user5155
    Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 9:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .