NRA calls for crackdown on gun modification used by Las Vegas gunman
- Author: Jon Douglas Oct 07, 2017,
Oct 07, 2017, 0:10
Momentum is building for a nationwide ban on "bump stocks" - devices that can increase the rate of fire of semi-automatic weapons - as the National Rifle Association, the White House, Congress and, locally, Gov. Charlie Baker all expressed willingness to consider the crackdown.
The top Republican in the House says he's open to considering a possible ban on "bump stocks", the device the shooter in Las Vegas apparently used to make semi-automatic rifles perform more like fully automatic weapons.
The National Rifle Association has said the devices should be "subject to additional regulations". A bill in the House from Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., is expected soon.
Feinstein said she had yet to identify potential Republican co-sponsors, but Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, said he would support banning bump stocks.
"I didn't even know what they were until this week and I'm an avid sportsman", Ryan said. So I think we're quickly coming up to speed with what this is. The stock "bumps" back and forth between the shooter's shoulder and trigger finger, causing the rifle to shoot rapidly.
Wet Dreams gun shop owner Phil Francisco says he said he has never sold bump stocks.
Presidential spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Thursday that "we're certainly open to having that conversation".
Besides the silencer measure, House GOP leaders had been moving forward with a bill to allow people with concealed-carry permits to take their weapons to other states.
A handful of Republicans made headlines for supporting the idea of such a ban in the hours after California Sen.
Democrats, including Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, on Wednesday introduced legislation banning aftermarket products created to allow more rapid firing.
Feinstein included language to ban such modifications to assault rifles in legislation proposed after the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., but no legislation was passed to restrict firearms following that massacre, in which 20 children and six adults were killed.
Since it technically does not convert a semi-automatic rifle to an automatic, the device, according to the ATF, is legal. "So I have no problem banning those".
Echoing a sentiment circulating around conservative media, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway pointed out on "Fox & Friends" on Thursday that in 2010, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms decided against classifying the weapons as automatic. The sentence stands out within the statement by the NRA, because the organiation typically resists any regulations on guns and gun ownership.
The chairmen of the judiciary committees in the House and Senate have indicated openness to learning more about the issue, but without committing to holding hearings. "If you get a gun bill on the floor, you're going to have all the amendments on the left and all the amendments on the right", Grassley said. "Many people are just learning about these bump stocks", he told NPR.
Obama repeatedly criticized the NRA throughout his administration for its pressure on lawmakers to oppose gun control legislation in the wake of mass shootings. The fact that this debate is focused on an accessory, not firearms or ammunition themselves, could make action more palatable for Republican lawmakers.
He said there is a lot of red tape if someone would want a fully automatic weapon, and the bump stock is away to cheat that.
Politico reported Thursday that bump stocks are banned at the firing range at NRA's headquarters.
The NRA is typically the nation's most prominent lobbyist group against stricter gun regulations.
A bump stock is a device that can be attached to the butt of a rifle, allowing it to fire like an automatic weapon.