U.S. lawmakers bolstered efforts Thursday to ban devices used by the Las Vegas shooter to make his guns fire faster, while the National Rifle Association unexpectedly urged federal officials to review the legality of such modifications.
The National Rifle Association is calling for federal officials to review regulations that allow people to buy devices which can make semi-automatic guns fire at a rate similar to automatic weapons in the wake of a mass shooting that left almost 60 people dead and hundreds injured. The stock "bumps" back and forth between the shooter's shoulder and trigger finger, causing the rifle to shoot rapidly. One such couple, Toby and Kelsey Clark, said they both continue believing in Second Amendment protections. The gunman, Stephen Paddock, had a stockpile of 23 guns in his room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
'I didn't even know what they were until this week, ' said Paul Ryan, Republican House leader, about bump stocks.
The statement is a notable concession by the group, which has vehemently opposed any efforts to tighten gun laws or limit gun owners' options to modify their weapons, and it could open the door to a broader debate about bump stocks.
A bump stock is an affordable attachment that enables a semi-automatic rifle to simulate the effect of a fully automatic rifle. "So we would support an outright ban of them".
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".
"I own a lot of guns, and as a hunter and sportsman, I think that's our right as Americans", Cornyn said, "but I don't understand the use of this bump stock".
The statement, released by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and it's Institute for Legislative Action executive director Chris Cox, also calls for Congress to pass the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, which would allow carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a longtime advocate for gun control, introduced legislation Wednesday to ban bump stocks.
Meanwhile, similar legislation to regulate bump stocks in emerging in the House of Representatives. The NRA supported expanded background checks in the 1990s, but objected to the actual proposed details of the legislation. The sentence stands out within the statement by the NRA, because the organiation typically resists any regulations on guns and gun ownership. On Monday, he said the only way he could foresee any new federal gun restrictions resulting from the Vegas shooting would be if someone could point to a particular measure that would have prevented the scope of that tragedy.
For now, at least, bipartisan support on a bill restricting bump stocks allows Republicans and Democrats to say they passed something - anything - in response to the massacre in Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in modern USA history.
"I told you before I didn't think anything was likely to happen", he said Thursday.
Just five years later, the country is once again reeling, this time from the deadliest mass shooting in its history.