(NBC) - States and cities are taking the lead when it comes to banning rapid-fire "bump stocks" for guns after Congress has done nothing on the issue.
Proposals to ban bump stocks — devices that turn a semi-automatic rifle into one that fires like a fully automatic weapon by using its forceful recoil to quickly re-engage the trigger mechanism — caught fire in Washington after reports that the shooter in the Las Vegas massacre had used them in his attack.
Politicians from both parties, including Republicans often opposed to gun restrictions, said banning their sale should be seriously looked at. But nearly two months after Reps. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and Seth Moulton, D-Mass., introduced a bipartisan bill to outlaw bump stocks nothing has happened.
The National Rifle Association and some lawmakers said new restrictions on bump stocks shouldn't come from Congress, but from the the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, although the agency had said previously that it didn't have the authority to regulate the devices.
Infuriated by the inaction, states and cities have taken matters into their own hands.
Earlier this month, Massachusetts became the first state to ban bump stocks after Las Vegas, and at least six other states are considering similar measures. Under Massachusetts' new law, those who use or possess a bump stock, or a similar device called a trigger crank, could face prison time.
"We’ve come to the conclusion that Congress just won't act on this issue, gun control, so we've decided to try to do as much as we can on a state level and on a state-by-state basis," explained Massachusetts Democratic state Rep. David Linsky, who sponsored the bill.
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