WASHINGTON, D.C.-- In the wake of last Sunday's Las Vegas shooting, several lawmakers and many Americans have been calling for changes to existing gun laws. Earlier this week, it seemed like there was one thing Democrats, Republicans, and the NRA could all agree upon: legally banning bump stocks.
Sunday, they stopped short of calling for a complete ban.
A bump stock allows semi-automatic weapons to fire bullets as quickly as a machine gun. Thursday, the NRA endorsed new restrictions on bump stocks. Now, they've reversed course, blaming the Obama administration for making the device legal in the first place.
"If we could legislate morality, we would have done it long ago," Wayne LaPierre, the CEO of the NRA said in an interview Sunday morning. "I think you want to tell ATF [the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives] to do its job. It's an interpretive issue, and they need to get the job done."
In the wake of Vegas, both Democrats are Republicans signaled a rare bipartisan push to tighten controls on bump stocks. The effort was furthered on Thursday, with the NRA releasing a statement from LaPierre and Chris Cox, the NRA's Executive Director, calling for "additional regulations" on accessories that allow semiautomatic rifles to mimic fully automatic ones.
Fully automatic weapons are illegal in the United States.
Here's where the lawmakers representing the WQAD News 8 viewing area stand on a bump control ban:
- Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) admitted she'd never heard of bump stocks until the Vegas shooting, but says she's "certainly willing to discuss."
- Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is holding hearings on bump stocks as Chair of the Judiciary Committee, but says he's worried about a "slippery slope."
- Both Senators Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) support the ban.
At least a dozen of the Las Vegas shooter's weapons were outfitted with bump stocks.