Two months after the Las Vegas massacre and a month before the Florida school shootings, Northside Rep. Kathy Sykes introduced a bill to ban the use of bump stocks in Mississippi.
The measure, HB 1404, died in the House Judiciary Committee on January 30.
The bill would have prohibited Mississippians from using bump stocks, devices that be used to increase the fire rate of semi-automatic firearms.
Sykes spoke to the Sun following the school shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The District 70 representative said in light of the shootings, the state should ban semi-automatic and automatic weapons, and should work to increase security at schools and other public venues.
“We need to be proactive and try to stop everyone from having access to semi-automatic and automatic weapons,” she said. “Too many lives have been lost and we, as citizens, are getting fed up with seeing our children and loved ones massacred.”
Sykes was referring to mass shootings that occurred last October and in February.
In October, Stephen Paddock gunned down 58 concert goers at an event in Las Vegas. Authorities found 12 bump-fire stocks in his hotel room, according to CNN.com.
And on Valentine’s Day, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz entered the school, pulled the fire alarm and shot students and faculty members as they attempted to leave the building. Seventeen people were killed.
In response to the shooting, President Donald Trump has directed his justice department to ban bump stocks, something Sykes agrees with.
Sykes was initially surprised by the president’s proposal but said it doesn’t go far enough.
“It’s not enough, but it’s certainly is a start,” she said. “We as a state should have taken the lead on that.”
The same committee that killed Sykes’ bill passed HB 1083. That legislation, which was authored by Rep. Andy Gipson, clears the way for individuals with concealed carry licenses to carry firearms into sporting events at public colleges and universities. Firearms are usually prohibited in those areas.
The measure was later amended to allow the arming of school teachers.
The amended bill passed Senate and has been returned to the House for concurrence.
Sykes voted against that measure initially.