The National Rifle Association on Thursday opened the door for supporting the regulation bump stocks, a rifle modification that was used in a mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this week.
In its first statement since the shooting that left 59 dead and over 500 wounded, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and Executive Director Chris Cox said they would be open to regulating bump stocks, which allow rifles to fire at a higher rate mimicking an automatic weapon.
“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” the organisation said in a statement.
The organisation also took a jab at former President Barack Obama’s administration, pointing out that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in 2010 decided bump-stock modifiers do not convert semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons, which are more heavily regulated.
Obama repeatedly criticised the NRA throughout his administration for its pressure on lawmakers to oppose gun control legislation in the wake of mass shootings.
Democrats such as Sen. Diane Feinstein pushed back against the NRA’s criticism of Obama, pointing out that in 2010, the ATF “made clear it did not have the authority to regulate bump stocks.”
Though it is rare for the NRA to endorse even discussing any sort of gun regulation measure, the organisation already banned the use of bump stocks at the firing range at its headquarters.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said on MSNBC that the bump stock ban was “something we need to look into.” Other further to his right also seemed open to at least discussing the issue: Rep. Dave Brat told Business Insider that he’d be open to debating bump stocks.
For its part, the White House has also said it is open to discussing a potential ban.
Asked in a press conference on Thursday about momentum for a bump stock ban, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the White House would “welcome that.”
“It’s something we’re very open to, and we want to be a part of the conversation moving forward,” Sanders said.
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