Thursday, the National Rifle Association released an unexpected statement calling for the ATF to re-evaluate whether bump stocks should be legal, even going so far as to say, “devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
This comes after federal agents said they found 12 of the devices in the hotel room of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in Washington have also requested the ATF consider placing restrictions on devices like bump stocks that allow a semi-automatic firearm to shoot more rapidly.
Representative Michael McCaul, R-TX, is one of several congress members to do so.
In a statement McCaul said, "As a former federal prosecutor and a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, it's clear to me that Stephen Paddock's senseless attack in Las Vegas highlights the need for re-evaluating bump-stocks and similar mechanisms to ensure full compliance with federal law. "
McCaul said he is happy to hear that president trump is willing to support that investigation.
“We know that members of both parties and several organizations are planning to take a look at bump stocks and related devices. We certainly welcome that. We'd like to be part of that conversation,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during a press briefing.
But some democrats said banning bump stocks doesn't go far enough.
Representative Lloyd Doggett, D-TX, sent us a statement that reads in part, "Apparently this massacre has moved even the NRA to acquiesce in one narrow bump stock provision in order to bump consideration of any other gun safety measures. One and done is not enough…. They are still trying to silence full, fair, bipartisan debate on meaningful ways to make our families safer, such as closing the gun show loophole."
Some gun rights advocates still say bump stocks should remain legal because it is possible to shoot a rifle just as fast without the device.
“There's no reason they should not be legal. We shouldn't do this knee-jerk reaction where we're banning something just because something major actually happened,” said Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works.
However, even shooting experts agree, a gun outfitted with a bump stock is almost impossible to aim and there is really no purpose for them besides novelty.