In the aftermath of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, more Republicans in Congress on Thursday signaled their support for legislative plans to ban ‘bump stocks,’ which were reportedly used by the accused gunman to more rapidly fire on concertgoers, as even the National Rifle Association called for a review of the devices that make semi-automatic weapons function more like automatics.
“The NRA belives that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” the gun rights group said in a statement.
At the White House, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the President would be open to listening to any ideas, but she cautioned against any “rash decisions” on gun restrictions, arguing it is still time to focus on the victims of the Vegas attack, which killed almost 60 and resulted in injuries to nearly 500 people.
“That’s a discussion that we welcome and that we want to be a part of,” Sanders told reporters at a White House briefing.
The comments from the White House came a few minutes after top NRA official Chris Cox put out a statement, indicating that the gun rights group was open to some modficiation of how bump stocks are treated under federal law.
The NRA did not endorse a legislative change, but instead pointed out that the bump stocks were approved as a gun accessory during the Obama Administration, by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.
That came as more and more Republicans in the Congress said they were open to the idea of doing something about ‘bump stocks.’
The NRA statement came as it became apparent that more and more Republicans were open to a bill that would address the bump stocks issue.
“I’m a big advocate of Second Amendment rights,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), “but at the same time, I agree that civilians shouldn’t have access – without special licensing – to fully automatic weapons.”
“It’s evident that action must be taken with regard to devices that modify semi-automatic weapons like bump stocks,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS).
While Democrats had their own bill, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) was trying to put together his own measure, telling reporters that his office had received a number of calls from other GOP lawmakers, interested in getting on board.
The story was much the same in the Senate.
“This strikes me as something worth considering,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). “I think there needs to be a hearing,” as Cornyn – like other Senators said they weren’t familiar with the gun aid.
“I had never heard of bump stocks prior to the massacre,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), “I think it’s something we should definitely take a look at.”
But there were still some Republicans in Congress who made clear that they aren’t interested in any change.