Las Vegas massacre: Gun lobby's surprise response


The National Rifle Association - the influential pro-gun lobby group - said bump stocks should be "subject to additional regulations" and called on regulators to determine whether the devices comply with federal law.

It's called the bump stock, and it's a device that some gun owners use to modify semiautomatic rifles to make them fire faster, nearly as fast as a fully automatic rifle.

The Las Vegas shooter had 12 rifles modified with bump stocks in his hotel room.

The National Rifle Association released a statement Thursday afternoon saying that the status of bump stocks needs to be examined.

But even her stated openness to engaging on the "bump stock" issue fell in line with Republican leadership and the NRA, which allowed in a statement that "devices created to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations".

"There will certainly be a time for that policy discussion to take place", Sanders said the day after the killings, "but that's not the place that we're in at this moment".

"Automatic weapons are illegal", Johnson told reporters on Wednesday, according to the Hill.

It was a rare concession for all concerned. Shooting incidents involving lawmakers themselves, like at a baseball practice earlier this year where Majority Whip Steve Scalise was critically injured, have not changed the calculus. "It's unfortunate that opponents of the Second Amendment always exploit such bad crimes to advance their anti-gun agenda and rush through anti-Second Amendment legislation that would not have prevented the Las Vegas shooting, or other gun crimes".

Jeremy Sternisha, with The Armories Gun Shop in Oviedo, said bump stocks have not been a popular item in the past. Someone from Joe's Guns & Stuff in Shoreline said he didn't sell them because he doesn't like them-though he doesn't think they should be banned. Both men we talked to said people will find a way around it. Alabama gun dealer Grant Crowden likened the devices to a Corvette because they're cool but not very practical. "The only reason to modify a gun is to kill as many people as possible in as short as time as possible".

The "bump stock" devices are sold as attachments for semi-automatic weapons, allowing the user to fire at higher speeds approaching a fully automatic weapon. That's because the recoil from simulated automatic fire would make it hard to hit specific targets at a long range. "We were for bump stocks!" the NRA can now respond.

In the Las Vegas shooting, where 22,000 were crowded together in an enclosure, the shooter's gunfire forced people to flee through a small opening in the fencing that surrounded the festival grounds, making them much easier targets. The organization laughably blamed the Obama administration for approving the devices for sale on several occasions.

But you better believe they know now - and even Republican lawmakers have been open to considering whether bump stocks should be more tightly regulated, or even outright banned. Was it a regulatory misstep by ATF some number of years ago?

But Democrats insisted that a regulatory change by the ATF would not be sufficient.

"Federal regulations won't be able to fully close this loophole". Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, unveiled her own bill to ban bump stocks.

But with applied pressure, they can cause the weapon to fire continuously.

Ryan's comments come as one senior House GOP member told CNN enough House Republicans are likely to agree to a push for legislation that would ban bump stocks that something could pass in the GOP-controlled House.