In a rare moment of consensus, Democrats, Republicans, and the National Rifle Association are all calling for the US government to review its regulations on so-called “bump stocks,” add-on devices that convert a semi-automatic weapon in a fully automatic one. Stephen Paddock, who shot and killed at least 58 people this week in a rampage in Las Vegas, had bump stocks attached to 12 of the rifles in his hotel-room arsenal.
“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” said in a statement today (Oct. 5) from Wayne LaPierre, the group’s CEO and Chris Cox, head of NRA’s lobbying branch, urging the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to “immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.”
Here is the full statement:
Bump stocks, originally intended to enable people with disabilities to fire weapons, are generally seen as legal, and are available for as little as $99. Attaching them to a semi-automatic rifle allows the shooter to fire hundreds of rounds in a minute, much like a machine gun. The latter are largely banned in the US.
The devices also make a weapon less accurate, and less safe, and as Politico reported, the NRA itself bans the add-ons from its own shooting range in Virginia.
Carlos Curbelo, a Republican congressmen from Florida, said he was planning to introduce a bill to prohibit the sale of bump stocks in the US. ”I think we are on the verge of a breakthrough when it comes to sensible gun policy,” he told reporters, according to CNN. Other lawmakers from the GOP, traditionally the pro-gun, NRA-backed party, said they were open to such a legislation. Democratic senator from California Dianne Feinstein has long called for bump stocks to be outlawed, and proposed a similar ban on Oct. 4.