Six days after the deadliest mass shooting in US history, the National Rifle Association released an official statement saying that rapid-fire devices such as the ones used by Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock “should be subject to additional regulations.” The White House released a statement saying it is open to discussing the matter.
Bump Stocks Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
The NRA is joining the efforts against the use of devices that enable semi-automatic weapons to function as fully automatic ones and said that further regulations are required on bump stocks, the rapid-fire devices. In an official statement released on Thursday, the organization said: “Devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
Bump stock devices were used in the deadly Las Vegas shooting, which resulted in the death of 58 people and injured over 500 others. The NRA’s irregular statement was released amid reports that White House and Republican officials spoke of a possibility of discussing the controversial topic after the deadliest mass shooting in US history.
12 of the rifles found in the hotel room on the 32nd-floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel were outfitted with these rapid-fire devices. While fully automatic weapons are under extremely tight ownership regulation in the US, bump stocks are legal and widely available.
Bump stocks work by replacing a rifle’s stock and enabling it to move freely back and forth, which lessens the kickback felt by the shooter. The special stock uses the energy released by the kickback and enables the rifle to rapidly fire bullets in an automatic fashion.
“Fully automatic weapons have been banned for a long time,” said US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan in an interview with MSNBC. “Apparently, this allows you to take a semiautomatic and turn it into a fully automatic. So clearly that’s something we need to look into.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders addressed the topic in a press conference on Thursday, saying that the White House would like to “take part” in the conversation. “We would like to see a clear understanding of the facts. And we’d like to see input from the victims’ families, from law enforcement, from policymakers,” said Sanders. “We’re expecting hearings and other important fact-finding efforts on that and we want to be part of that discussion. We’re certainly open to that moving forward.”