Governor Charlie Baker said Thursday he would sign a bill outlawing bump stocks, the devices that might have been used by the Las Vegas gunman to rain bullets into a crowd, inflicting the worst mass shooting in American history.
“Look, that should be outlawed,” the Republican governor said. “And if that were to pass tomorrow, we would sign it.”
Baker also said he thought that Massachusetts could serve as a model to the federal government on gun regulation.
“Massachusetts has some of the strictest and best gun law[s] in the country; they have been passed almost always on a bipartisan basis here,” he said. “I think it would be terrific if folks at the federal level took a look at some of the standards and the practices and policy and laws that we have here in Massachusetts.”
State Representative David Linsky, a Natick Democrat who played a role in crafting the state’s 2014 gun violence prevention bill, filed legislation Wednesday that would ban bump stocks.
Federal authorities have said 12 bump stocks were found in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino room that Stephen Paddock used as a sniper’s nest to fire into a crowd attending a country music festival. Paddock killed at least 58 people; hundreds were injured.
“Massachusetts gun laws are among the best in the nation, and as a result we have one of the lowest rates of gun violence in the country,” Linsky told the State House News Service, noting that the state competes with only Hawaii for that distinction. “They’re not perfect, however. And the Las Vegas shooting was, to my knowledge, the first mass shooting where a so-called bump stock was used and it highlighted the loophole.”
Action could also be taken at the federal level. Top Republicans in Congress, who have balked at gun limits for decades, signaled Wednesday that they would be open to banning bump stocks.
Democrats in both the US House and Senate announced Wednesday that they were filing legislation to close what they called a deadly loophole in gun regulations.