Statewide ban on bump stocks proposed in Colorado

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DENVER — A Colorado lawmaker is pushing a for a statewide ban on bump stocks.

State Sen. Michael Merrifield, D-Colorado Springs, said SB18-051 would outlaw the purchase, sale or ownership of a bump stock or devices that convert legal firearms into automatic weapons.

“There’s really no legitimate reason to own one of these instruments unless your intention is to kill as many people as fast as you can,” Merrifield said.

Colorado could potentially join states such as Massachusetts and New Jersey that have recently tightened laws relating to the plastic gun accessory.

The Denver City Council voted Monday to ban bump stocks.

The changing attitudes toward bump stocks follow America’s deadliest mass shooting.

On Oct. 1, a shooter inside the 32nd floor of Las Vegas Strip hotel unloaded gunfire at a crowded concert. Fifty-eight people were killed and hundreds were wounded.

Last week, investigators said the killer rigged 12 of his guns with bump stocks. The attachment increases shooting speed similar to that of an automatic weapon.

Anticipating serious pushback from lawmakers on the other side of the aisle, Merrifield, a gun owner and hunter, said the bill does not touch gun ownership.

“This takes away a mechanism that turns a legal weapon into an illegal weapon,” Merrifield said.

State Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs, said this is classic government overreach.

While he agrees the Las Vegas shooting was tragic, he said the proposed bill does nothing to address the underlying problem.

“You have bad guys with guns who are intent on killing people and the only thing that can stop them is good guys with guns,” Hill said.

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