Washington DC - In the immediate aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, there was a fevered pitch to ban bump stocks, the device that allowed the shooter’s semi-automatic rifles to mimic the rapid fire of machine guns.
With that push stalled at the federal level, a handful of states and some cities are moving ahead with bans of their own.
Massachusetts and New Jersey — two states led by Republican governors — as well as the cities of Denver and Columbia, South Carolina, have enacted laws prohibiting the sale and possession of the devices, which were attached to a half-dozen of the long guns found in the hotel room of the Las Vegas shooter who in October killed 58 people and injured hundreds more attending a nearby outdoor concert.
A little over a dozen other states are also considering bans on bump stocks.
Gun-control advocates say the push fits a pattern in gun politics: inaction in Washington that forces states to take the lead. Gun-rights advocates call it a knee-jerk reaction that will do little to stop bad guys from killing, and vow a legal challenge.
For Zach Elmore, the issue is deeply personal.
His sister among those wounded in the Las Vegas attack. He finds hope in the statewide and local efforts to ban bump stocks.