Politics

RI congressman drafts gun control bill after Vegas shooting

U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., in 2014. Cliff Owen/AP Photo/File

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) ā€” A Rhode Island congressman says he’s drafting a bill to prohibit devices that can enable a rifle to fire continuously, like an automatic weapon.

Authorities say the Las Vegas gunman had 23 guns with him at the hotel and 12 “bump stock” devices that can enable a rifle to fire continuously.

Democratic U.S. Rep. David Cicilline is asking his colleagues to co-sponsor legislation he’s working on that would prohibit the manufacture, possession, sale or transfer of devices to convert a semi-automatic weapon into the near equivalent of a fully automatic machine gun.

The Sunday night rampage by Stephen Craig Paddock killed at least 59 people and injured more than 500.

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Cicilline said every tool available must be used to “address the epidemic of gun violence and prevent more mass shootings.” He circulated a letter to his colleagues Tuesday, asking for their support.

Cicilline said immediately after the shooting that Congress must do more than just hold a moment of silence. While obtaining a fully automatic weapon is extremely difficult and prohibited in some states, bump stock devices are legal and readily available online, he added.

The Republican-controlled Congress has not taken up new gun restrictions in light of recent mass killings.