After Vegas massacre, United States gun lobby backs calls for new curbs

Trevor Jackson
October 7, 2017

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said at a news briefing on Thursday that the administration would be "very open" to discussing the possibility of banning bump stocks.

Some of the survivors of the Las Vegas shooting doubt that more gun control laws would have prevented Sunday's mass shooting, according to Wednesday interviews. The stock "bumps" back and forth between the shooter's shoulder and trigger finger, causing the rifle to shoot rapidly.

"This is such a new component to me", said Jeff Duncan, a SC congressman vocal about expanding gun rights.

A makeshift memorial is seen next to the site of the Route 91 music festival mass shooting outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 3, 2017.

'I didn't even know what they were until this week, ' said Paul Ryan, Republican House leader, about bump stocks.

House and Senate Democrats have introduced bills banning bump stocks and similar devices, like trigger cranks, that can accelerate the firing rate of a semi-automatic weapon to almost that of a machine gun. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who introduced legislation this week to ban them.

Curbelo plans to offer a bill to ban bump stocks and says his office has heard from many lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, who are interested in it.

The ATF approved the sale of bump stock attachments on June 20, 2010, ruling the device complies with federal law because it has "no automatically functioning mechanical parts".

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Many Republicans echoed Ryan, saying the entire concept of bump stocks was new to them and holding off from a commitment to the call for a legislative ban.

Several sellers of bump stocks are reportedly running low on supply, and it remains to be seen how vocal gun rights groups will be in the coming debate. The NRA supported expanded background checks in the 1990s, but objected to the actual proposed details of the legislation.

"But one of the difficulties we often have in terms of getting compromise in this area is that people who advocate different measures themselves frankly admit it's just the first step towards something stricter". "I think we're fully coming up to speed with what this is".

"Automatic weapons are illegal", Wisconsin Sen.

The endorsement from the NRA and congressional Republicans for a change in law or policy to regulate guns, however narrow, marked a shift.

For now, at least, bipartisan support on a bill restricting bump stocks allows Republicans and Democrats to say they passed something - anything - in response to the massacre in Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

Nelson Lund, a Second Amendment expert at George Mason University, was unaware of the device until recently. In his book from 2000, "The America We Deserve", Mr. Trump said that while he opposes a number of gun restrictions, he supports a federal assault weapons ban - this ban expired in 2004 - and a longer waiting period for gun purchases (don't tell his supporters!).

"I told you before I didn't think anything was likely to happen", he said Thursday. The shooting was the deadliest in modern USA history.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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