Republicans leadership in Congress is open to examining the use of bump stocks in the wake of the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nev., House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday.
The comments follow an influx of Republican support for taking action to scale back or ban the use of the device used by the Las Vegas shooter to convert semi-automatic weapons into automatic firearms — resulting in 59 fatalities and more than 450 injuries at a country music festival Sunday.
McCarthy — who traveled with President Donald Trump to Las Vegas Wednesday — said he’s heard from “a number of members who want to look into this.” Under the Obama administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) opted not to regulate bump stocks in 2010, he noted.
“I think this is an area we can look at,” the California Republican told The Daily Caller News Foundation, adding the topic stems back to The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986, which banned the manufacturing of automatic weapons for civilian purchase.
GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida said he plans to file legislation Thursday banning the production of use of bump stocks, adding he’s heard from dozens of lawmakers open to cosponsoring the legislation.
“It’s obvious that this is a flagrant circumvention of the law, and no member of Congress should support any circumvention of the existing law,” he told reporters.
Despite being an avid sportsman, Ryan said he had not heard of the devices until the shooting, telling MSNBC that Congress will consider their legislative options.
“Fully automatic weapons have been banned for a long time,” Ryan told MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt. “Apparently, this allows you to take a semiautomatic and turn it into a fully automatic. So clearly that’s something we need to look into.”
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