In a move supported by the White House and Republican leadership, The NRA on Thursday said it was moving away from its usual staunch pro-Second Amendment stance, saying it is in favor of reviewing the regulations on bump stocks — the firearm accessory used by the gunman in the Las Vegas shooting.
“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” said the NRA in a statement released Thursday afternoon, its first public comments since the shooting.
Bump stocks are modifications that convert semi-automatic guns into fully automatic weapons, which were supposedly created with the idea of making it easier for people with disabilities to shoot. The $200 tool, which is available online, turns semi-automatic guns into assault rifles, giving them the capacity to fire literally hundreds of rounds per minute — sales for bump stocks have shot up in recent days,
Unsurprisingly, bump stocks have found their way into the hands of regular gun owners — Las Vegas shooting gunman Stephen Paddock used the modification on the rifles he used to murder 58 concertgoers and then himself at a sold-out country-music concert on Oct. 1.
“Any look at it, it takes a semi-automatic firearm and it makes it perform like a fully automatic firearm. It makes it function like one,” NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre said Thursday on Fox News. “What the NRA has said is we should talk a look at that, see if it’s in compliance with federal law, and it’s worthy of additional regulation.”
“That being said, we didn’t say ban, we didn’t say confiscate,” LaPierre added. The NRA did, however, ban bump stocks from its Fairfax, Va. shooting range, Yahoo reported.
Some liberals have called out the shift in rhetoric following the Las Vegas shooting tragedy by the NRA and pro-gun rights politicians like President Donald Trump, House Majority Leader Paul Ryan and others as a scheme to placate Americans with minimal gun control reforms.
"In the aftermath of the evil and senseless attack in Las Vegas, the American people are looking for answers as to how future tragedies can be prevented. 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. This is a fact that has been proven time and again in countries across the world,” the NRA statement reads.
In Thursday’s White House briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the Trump administration “would like to be part of that conversation” about bump stocks, but reiterated Trump stance on guns, saying he is a “strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and that hasn’t changed.”