NRA calls for regulation of 'bump stocks' after Las Vegas massacre

  • Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
3:16 p.m Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 Nation& World

The National Rifle Association is calling for federal officials to review regulations that allow people to buy devices which can make semi-automatic guns fire at a rate similar to automatic weapons in the wake of a mass shooting that left nearly 60 people dead and hundreds injured.

Authorities told The Associated Press that they found a dozen of the devices, known as bump stocks, on weapons used Sunday by Stephen Paddock to fire hundreds of bullets at people gathered in Las Vegas for the Route 91 Harvest music festival.

In a statement released Thursday, NRA officials said that the group “believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”

A bump stock device (left) that fits on a semi-automatic rifle to increase the firing speed, making it similar to a fully automatic rifle, is installed on a AK-47 semi-automatic rifle, (right) at a gun store on October 5, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Congress is talking about banning this device after it was reported to of been used in the Las Vegas shootings on October 1, 2017. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

The lobbying group also reiterated its commitment to fight against gun regulation.

“The first response from some politicians has been to call for more gun control,” officials said. “Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks.”

The statement was issued as lawmakers consider the possibility of banning the devices.

"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,” the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said on Thursday. "I own a lot of guns and as a hunter and sportsman I think that's our right as Americans, but I don't understand the use of this bump stock and that's another reason to have a hearing."

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.

“We welcome, certainly, that and conversation on that,” she said.

President Donald Trump visited Las Vegas on Wednesday but said "We're not going to talk about that today" when asked about gun issues.

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