As Democrats continue to call for increased gun control in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre and pro-Second Amendment groups warn against overreach, the Republicans and the influential National Rifle Association appear to have agreed that “bump stock” devices could be subject to further regulation.
Bump stocks, attachments that replace a semiautomatic rifle’s stock and allow it to fire faster, became a target of congressional scrutiny after it was discovered that Stephen Paddock used them on twelve of his rifles.
On Wednesday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) signaled support for legislation that would ban bump stocks like the ones Paddock used.
“If somebody can essentially convert a semi-automatic weapon by buying one of these and utilizing it and cause the kind of mayhem and mass casualties that we saw in Las Vegas, that’s something of obvious concern that we ought to explore,” he told reporters, adding: “I don’t understand the use of this bump stock.”
In a statement, the NRA agreed bump stocks should be “subject to additional regulations” and called on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to review the devices to determine whether they are permissible under federal law.
However, the NRA warned that a grab for private citizens’ guns would prove futile in the long run when it comes to thwarting mass shootings.
“Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks,” said NRA leaders Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill Wednesday that would ban the sale and possession of bump stocks and other similar devices, ABC News reported. If passed, the new law would go into effect 180 days after its passage.
“It shall be unlawful for any person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a trigger crank, a bump-fire device or any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun,” the bill reads.