NRA backs additional regulations on rapid-fire gun ‘bump stocks’ - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

NRA backs additional regulations on rapid-fire gun ‘bump stocks’

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In its first public statement since the deadliest shooting in modern American history, the National Rifle Association on Thursday called for new regulations on bump stocks that rapidly accelerate a weapons' rate of fire.

"The National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law," the NRA's Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox said in a joint statement.

"The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations," the statement continued.

It was an unusual move for an organization that has made a habit of opposing any and all new restrictions on gun rights, and one likely to increase momentum on Capitol Hill for legislative action to crack down on bump stocks, especially among Republicans.

At the White House shortly after the NRA issued its statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that President Donald Trump is aware that Congress wants to take a look at bump stocks.

"We’d like to be a part of that conversation," she said. "We’re open to that moving forward."

A dozen bump stocks were found in the Las Vegas shooter’s hotel room, leading some top Republicans who are generally hostile to gun restrictions to call for congressional action on the devices.

Still, the carefully worded NRA statement stop short of explicitly calling for legislation, instead endorsing new federal regulation through the ATF. The NRA statement also criticized some lawmakers for pushing for gun control in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

ATF has already concluded bump stocks are legal under current law, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a leading gun control advocate, said she doubts the agency has the ability to act on its own.

"Bump fire stocks, while simulating automatic fire, do not actually alter the firearm to fire automatically, making them legal under current federal law," ATF Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder told reporters in Las Vegas Tuesday.

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