Bill Nelson sponsors bill to ban bump stocks for assault weapons

sen. Bill Nelson-18

Saying, “they are for killing,” Florida’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson sponsored a bill Wednesday to ban so-called “bump stocks” like the ones Las Vegas police say Stephen Paddock used in his deadly slaughter Sunday night in Las Vegas.

“I’m a hunter and have owned guns my whole life,” Nelson stated in a news release. “But these automatic weapons are not for hunting, they are for killing. And this common-sense bill would, at the very least, make it harder for someone to convert a semi-automatic rifle into what is essentially a fully-automatic machine gun.”

The move was one of many gun law reform efforts renewed by Democrats in the wake of Paddock’s massacre Sunday night of 58 concert goers with a fast, steady flow of long-range bullets that also wounded more than 500.

On Monday gubernatorial candidate Chris King vowed to push for gun reforms. In Orlando, state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith announced he had filed a state bill banning the sale of assault weapons and high-caliber magazines, a companion bill to the one state Sen. Linda Stewart, also of Orlando, filed more than a month ago. U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach called a press conference for Friday where she intends to introduce a federal bill outlawing those items and bump stocks.

Nelson’s bill also was sponsored by Democratic U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein of California, with 25 co-sponsors, including Democratic U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York, Chris Murphy of Connecticut, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, plus independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

The legislation would ban the sale, transfer, importation, manufacture or possession of bump stocks, trigger cranks and similar accessories that accelerate a semi-automatic rifle’s rate of fire.

While a typical semi-automatic rifle can fire at a rate of between 45 and 60 rounds per minute, a fully-automatic weapon can fire at a rate of 400 to 800 rounds per minute, Nelson’s office stated in the release.

The bill makes clear that its intent is to target only those accessories that increase a semi-automatic rifle’s rate of fire. Legitimate accessories used by hunters would be exempt. The bill also contains exceptions for lawful possession of these devices by law enforcement and the government.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


  • Sharon Knight

    October 4, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Thank you Senator Nelson, this new legislation is a start. We will need to address some other issues but this should be a no-brainer for everyone.

    • Paul

      October 8, 2017 at 8:06 pm

      Funny thing is if you don’t have any real military experience you simply don’t really know how these guns work.
      Rate of fire doesn’t equate to deadlier.
      When a gun is fired in full auto mode the gun is extremely inaccurate due to the rifles excessive recoil n movement,,,bump stock although a bit slower then full auto still inherits this same limitation of physics.
      What makes a rifle deadlier is accuracy, I’m all for finding solutions, however banning such things as bump stocks will do Zero for decreasing crime or death rates.
      We have to remember, that criminals don’t obey current laws, what makes you think they will obey new ones.?
      Bump stocks serve no purpose, on a rifle , no do they add any advantage in an efficiency of kill rate,, banning them will also serve no purpose.
      How about this,,,let’s stop making every place a soft target, ,maybe that’s a better idea Bill Nelson.
      The only way to stop a bad guy or criminal with a gun,,is having a good guy there with one.

    • Laura Paphides

      October 10, 2017 at 4:07 pm

      You have my vote!!

      • Patrick Shipman

        October 11, 2017 at 9:35 am

        Senator NELSON after many contacts the past several months has done nothing for the nearly 1 million Marines and Sailors that were exposed to Volatile Organic Compounds and Petroleum Derivatives in the well water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina for over 3 decades. 1953-1987. The US Government, the Department of the Navy, and Base Commanders knew that these chemicals were in levels that exceeded known safety standards, yet said nothing about this “toxic brew” until fairly recently. The toxic chemicals in the well water included TCE, DCE, PCE, Vinyl Chloride, and Benzene among others. Marines and Sailers were exposed via ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact. These volatile organic compounds are carcinogens, they damage/destroy immune systems, and they are at the genesis for many autoimmune diseases. Veterans seeking compensation are running into huge roadblocks regarding the SME program at the Lousiville Regional Department Veterans Affairs Offfice. Calls to Senator NELSON’s Orlando office go answered even after leaving message after message. I cannot truly adequate express how disappointed I am in Senator NELSON regarding no tangible responses to this important issue. Many of my fellow Marines and Sailors have died due to these toxic chemicals which essentially poisoned those serving their country without their knowledge. I hope that Senator NELSON will show more interest in this issue. Myself I will continue to speak out at various Veterans organizations regarding the Camp Lejeune issue, and I will be honest and forthright regarding the responses from all my elected officials. Time is of the essence to make it right for these exposed Veterans !!!

  • KIRK

    October 4, 2017 at 6:12 pm


  • Marlene Carls

    October 4, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Senator Nelson, Why does anyone need to fire a weapon at a rate of 45 to 60 rounds per minute? If a hunter needs that many rounds a minute to shoot a squirrel or even a deer, I would respectfully suggest he change sports. Why not go all out and ban both fully and semi automatic rifles.

    • Marlene Carls

      October 4, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      no moderation.

      • Wallace

        October 5, 2017 at 11:33 am

        You are truly an idiotwa

    • Paul Barca

      October 9, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Are we truly free if we Americans have a ” 1 size fits all mentality ”…???
      Last time I checked we all have an equal say.

      The cities with the toughest guns laws have the highest violent crime rates.

      Somehow Senator Bill Nelson left this out of his speech.

      Question for the radical left.

      If someone drinks and drives and kills another motorist,,is it General Motors fault for supplying the vehicle and supporting the domestic increase in DWI cases that result in killing another innocent motorist..?

      How then is it the NRAs fault or any political parties fault for what happened in Vegas..?

      If we become a nation of unarmed citizens and become soft targets, ,,how do you think criminals will respond to our new defenseless society. .?

      Can we honestly believe there will be less crime..?
      Criminals will always find ways to obtain weapons, ,they don’t follow any laws,,
      So making or enacting any new gun laws will simply do nothing to eliminate or reduce violent crime.

      We must remember criminals that commit these tragedies are not honest hard working, law abiding citizens. To force feed unconstitutional legislation down the throats of Americans is in no way operating in any free democracy.

      I may or may not support abortion, that being said, it doesn’t give me the right to force feed my views down the throats of every American I meet or talk to.,,or act un-civilly to people who don’t share my views or fit into my agenda. There’s an old saying ” don’t piss down my leg and tell me it’s raining”

      I say this to the left,,,you don’t like guns fine,,I won’t force you to buy one, at the same token don’t force me to accept your views as gospel or the wholy grail of what you think America should resemble. Fact; less then 1 percent of violent crimes are comitted with ar15 style rifles.

      If we are truly seeking solutions to any problem we must look at the entire equation, not half the page just because we don’t like certain parts of it.
      Part 1. Yes, we seem to be hearing of these tragedies more then we would like.
      Part 2. For every 1 tragedy, there are countless factual news stories where guns have been used by legal law abiding citizens almost every day in America to save lives from the hands of these violent criminals. Yet for some reason these stories don’t get media press coverage in the same manner the same way as Vegas, or similar types do.
      Why is that..? Are not lives saved by a gun worthy of praise to the same fanfare as one life ended tragically by one…?

      Perhaps the question we need answered is why.?
      Could America’s news media be controlled primarily by the left ? Seeking to present America with their 1 sided view of America. ?
      Could the reasons be politically motivated..?
      Do we need live in such a society where a biased news media outlet really exists…?
      Seems like America is being told half the story.

      We can’t solve a math problem when told half the equation, nor can any country solve it’s problems when told half the story.

      I’m fine with how you choose to live your life, don’t decide mine for me or dictate false doctrine towards me. I’m saying these things because America’s the land of OPPORTUNITY, not the land of left wing Democrats only.

  • Alice S Hoelzer

    October 4, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Thank you for getting this legislation started. It’s high time we got this senseless use of firearms under control.

  • Bill Rosenberg

    October 4, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Sadly, this bill should have been written and passed years ago. Don’t let this go on any longer

  • Wallace

    October 5, 2017 at 11:38 am

    You are truly an idiot

  • Eric

    October 5, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Nelson votes no on Kates law and many others but uses this tragedy to put his name out there. Nelson is for himself (not the people of Florida ) and the Shumer demo party.

  • Melody Doesitmatter

    October 5, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    There is a real, and growing, reason why we, as a society, understand the need to address the ability to “convert a semi-auto to fully-auto” gun.

    Currently, we have increasing Republican support overall, and will see how it unfolds; however, NPR did a bit on this today, and I highly recommend the content.

    Peace and Nonviolence.

  • Andrew Nappi

    October 12, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    The right to keep and bear arms has nothing to do with hunting. Nothing. It has to do with the ability to kill agents and soldiers of an oppressive government who would take away your rights. Nothing more, nothing less. This is the essence of the fear of guns in DC and among tyrants waiting to emerge, particularly among the left. Every repressive regime confiscated weapons. Not always all at once, sometimes by degree. Go pound sand Senator Nelson. RKBA is to keep you people in check, and you can’t abide that in your crusade to force what you believe to be best on people whether or not they want it. If only the people could be de-fanged, then people like you and Feinstein would have your complete way with them.

Comments are closed.


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