Some in GOP open to banning gun accessory used in Vegas
By ERICA WERNER
WASHINGTON — Senior congressional Republicans say they are open to considering legislation banning “bump stocks” like the shooter in Las Vegas apparently used to make semi-automatic rifles perform more like fully automatic weapons.
The comments from lawmakers including the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, marked a surprising departure from GOP lawmakers’ general antipathy to gun regulations of any kind. But they were far from a guarantee of a path forward for the new legislation by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., especially with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan making clear their priorities are elsewhere.
“If somebody can essentially convert a semi-automatic weapon by buying one of these and utilizing it and cause the kind of mayhem and mass casualties that we saw in Las Vegas, that’s something of obvious concern that we ought to explore,” Cornyn told reporters.
“I own a lot of guns and as a hunter and sportsman I think that’s our right as Americans, but I don’t understand the use of this bump stock and that’s another reason to have a hearing.”
Cornyn later said he’d spoken with Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, and that Grassley was interested in convening a hearing.
The devices, known as “bump stocks” among other names, are legal and originally were intended to help people with limited hand mobility fire a semi-automatic without the individual trigger pulls required. They can fit over the rear shoulder-stock assembly on a semi-automatic rifle and with applied pressure cause the weapon to fire continuously, increasing the rate from between 45 and 60 rounds per minute to between 400 and 800 rounds per minute, according to Feinstein’s office.
The government gave its seal of approval to selling the devices in 2010 after concluding that they did not violate federal law.
Feinstein has a career-long history on the […]