NRA backs new regulations on rapid-fire gun ‘bump stocks’ - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

NRA backs new regulations on rapid-fire gun ‘bump stocks’

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WASHINGTON — In its first public statement since the deadliest shooting in modern American history, the National Rifle Association on Thursday called for new regulations on bump stocks that rapidly accelerate a weapons' rate of fire.

"The National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law," the NRA's CEO, Wayne LaPierre, and its chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, said in a statement.

"The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations," the statement continued.

It was an unusual move for an organization that has made a habit of opposing any and all new restrictions on gun rights, and one likely to increase momentum on Capitol Hill for legislative action to crack down on bump stocks, especially among Republicans.

At the White House shortly after the NRA issued its statement, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that President Donald Trump is aware that Congress wants to take a look at bump stocks.

"We’d like to be a part of that conversation," she said. "We’re open to that moving forward."

A dozen bump stocks were found in the shooter's hotel room after Sunday's massacre in Las Vegas, leading some top Republicans who are generally hostile to gun restrictions to call for congressional action on the devices.

At least one House Republican, Carlos Curbelo of Florida, is working on a bipartisan bill to crack down on bump stocks, and a number of other key GOP lawmakers, including the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, are looking into the issue.

Still, the carefully worded NRA statement stops short of calling for legislation, instead endorsing new federal regulations through the ATF.

However, ATF has already concluded bump stocks do not violate current law, and given its blessing to manufacturers of the devices.

"Bump fire stocks, while simulating automatic fire, do not actually alter the firearm to fire automatically, making them legal under current federal law," ATF Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder told reporters in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

The NRA statement also criticized some lawmakers for pushing for gun control in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

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

And they used the statement to reiterate their desire that Congress pass a bill to make concealed carry weapons permits valid across state lines, "which will allow law-abiding Americans to defend themselves." 

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