The National Rifle Association voiced support for regulations on firearm bump stocks on Thursday, as Republican Congressional leaders have publicly spoken on restricting or even banning the devices.
A bump stock is a firearm accessory used to accelerate gunfire, essentially turning a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic. Officials said that 12 of the rifles found in the Las Vegas gunman’s suite had bump stocks. He shot and killed 59 people and injured more than 500 on Monday, the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.
“Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law,” the NRA said in a statement. “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
Several leading Congressional Republicans have indicated this week that they are open to considering additional regulations on bump stocks, or even banning them altogether. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatt, R-Va., both said Thursday that lawmakers will consider further rules for the devices. Ryan said he was not aware of the accessory until Monday’s shooting.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced legislation Wednesday that would ban the sale, transfer and manufacture of bump stocks, trigger cranks and other accessories that can accelerate a semiautomatic rifle’s rate of fire. The bill has the support of dozens of Democrats but no Republicans as of Thursday afternoon.
Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., said he is planning to introduce legislation by the end of the day Thursday to ban the sale of bump fire stocks, but no other gun accessories. Curbelo told the Washington Post that he’d received a lot of support for the bill from fellow Republicans.
“I think we are on the urge of breakthrough where when it comes to sensible gun policy,” said Curbelo. “It’s obvious that this is a flagrant circumvention of the law, and no member of Congress should support any circumvention of existing law.”
President Donald Trump has not talked about bump stocks specifically, but did indicate this week that he’s open to considering additional gun regulations.
“We will be talking about gun laws as time goes by,” Trump told reporters in the aftermath of the Vegas shooting.
Some retailers, including Walmart and Cabela’s, that sold bump stocks online have taken the items off their sites. But sites that continued to sell them reported “high traffic volume” of buyers this week.