NRA comes out in favor of restrictions on bump stocks

The White House and National Rifle Association both came out in favor of reviewing regulations of bump fire stocks, the device that contributed to the deaths of 58 people in the Las Vegas mass shooting Sunday night.

“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” said the NRA in a statement released Thursday afternoon, its first public comments since the shooting.

Bump stocks are modifications that enable a semiautomatic rifle to fire faster, allowing them to shoot hundreds of rounds per minute. They were originally created with the idea of making it easier for people with disabilities to shoot, but their demand has skyrocketed in the wake of the mass shooting as gun owners anticipate additional regulations on the devices. Bump stocks were found on twelve of the nearly two dozen firearms recovered from the hotel room of Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen Paddock.

It was reported Thursday that the NRA had banned bump stocks at its own firing range in Fairfax, Va. While the NRA came out in favor of tighter regulations on bump stocks, it stopped short of voicing support for stricter gun laws across the board. In the same statement in which it endorsed the added bump-stock regulations, it also stated that banning guns would only increase crime and that Americans live in an “increasingly-dangerous world.”

A bump stock that attaches to a semi-automatic rifle to increase the firing rate is seen at Good Guys Gun Shop in Orem, Utah, on Oct. 4, 2017. (Photo: George Frey/Reuters)

In Thursday’s White House briefing, press secretary Sarah Sanders said that the administration “would like to be part of that conversation” about  bump stocks, but that President Trump was a “strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and that hasn’t changed.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Thursday in an interview  that bump stocks are “clearly something we need to look into.” Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., planned to introduce legislation Thursday that would ban the sale of the devices.

Republican senators John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mike Rounds of South Dakota expressed interest in the issue to reporters.

“I’m going to wait until this report’s out from the police and get all that information,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chair of the Judiciary Committee.

However, not all Republicans were in favor of the idea.

“I think people ought to follow their heart, but they ought to take their brain with them,” said Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., in an inter;iew with Yahoo News about his opposition to bump stock changes. “This is not about bump stocks; this is about a longstanding assault against the Second Amendment.”

Liz Goodwin contributed to the reporting of this story.

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