Some of the most powerful Republicans in Congress say lawmakers should examine “bump-stocks” a rapid-fire accessory used by the gunman Stephen Paddock in Sunday’s Las Vegas attack, which killed 58 people and wounding 500, has reignited debate centered on stringent firearm regulation.
According to law officials 12 of the rifles recovered by authorities from a hotel suite in Las Vegas occupied by Paddock were fitted with bump stocks.
The “bump-stock” gun accessories enables rifles to be used as rapid-fire weapons, creating concern for lawmakers in Congress. House Speaker Paul Ryan on seeking legislation on controlling the devices;
Clearly that’s something we need to look into,” Ryan told radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, referring to the accessories. He added that many lawmakers in the Republican-controlled Congress had not been aware until now that such devices existed. An excerpt from the interview aired on MSNBC.
The top House Republican gave no other details about specific legislation or what action the Republican-controlled House might take toward bump stock devices, or a timeline for legislative steps.
Senate’s No. 2 Republican, John Cornyn, also called for lawmakers to investigate bump stocks, as Democrats pushed for a ban on the devices.
Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said on Thursday that the matter should be looked into.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said at a weekly press conference that Congress should promptly pass legislation toughening background checks on gun buyers. She also touted Democratic legislation stopping bump stocks.
“Hopefully we can bring that to the floor and at least pass a bill that bans, something that enables a shooter to spray murderous automatic fire on innocent people,” Pelosi said.
A push for tighter controls on firearms ownership, which is protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution creates pushback for Republicans, and some Democrats.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein—not mincing her words has called for bump stocks to be banned.
Representative David Cicilline, also a Democrat, has proposed a ban with a House bill, which he says has 148 co-sponsors. In a CNN interview, Cicilline said none of the sponsors are Republicans, although he is seeking the support of five or six conservatives.
Automatic weapons have been largely illegal for decades, but bump stock devices offer a way around that.
The National Rifle Association, a powerful opponent of most gun control initiatives,—signaled on Thursday that devices like “bump-stock” should be subject to additional regulations. The NRA’s statement according to news reports said that the organization would not oppose “bump-stock” restrictions.
How gun control fails
- In the last five years lawmakers have proposed more than 100 gun control measures – not one of them has become law, report CBS News
- Republicans blocked a measure that would have limited the bullet capacity in gun magazines after 32 were shot dead at Virginia Tech university massacre in 2007
- Efforts to expand background checks on gun sales and reinstate a Clinton-era ban on so-called assault weapons failed after 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting
- Congress rejected a bill aiming to stop suspected terrorists from legally buying guns after 14 people died in San Bernadino, California, in 2015
- Efforts to expand background checks failed again after 49 died at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016
Since Congress passed the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act in 1986, it has been relatively difficult for civilians to buy new, fully automatic weapons, which reload automatically and fire continuously as long as the trigger is pulled.
LeNora Millen 10-05-17