House Speaker Paul Ryan called for regulatory action on bump stocks, the device used by the Las Vegas shooter to convert semi-automatic weapons into automatic firearms.
The Wisconsin Republican said Wednesday that allowing the Trump administration to take the lead on the ban would be the most efficient route to address the problem.
“We think the regulatory fix is the smartest, quickest fix, and I’d frankly like to know how it happened in the first place,” Ryan told reporters at the House GOP leadership press conference.
Authorities discovered that Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock used 12 bump-fire stocks on his weapons, allowing him to kill 58 and injure more than 500. Ryan questioned why the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms opted against implementing stronger restrictions on the devices in 2010.
“We are still trying to assess why the ATF let this go through in the first place,” he said. “Yes, it makes sense that this is a regulation that probably shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are largely in agreement that the devices should be outlawed, with many arguing that their use allows individuals to circumvent the law as The Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 outlawed civilian use of automatic weapons.
GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida and Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts recently introduced legislation to prevent the production or use of bump stocks. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced a similar measure in the upper chamber.
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