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National Rifle Association open to regulation of 'bump stocks'

A bump stock device that fits on a semi-automatic rifle to increase the firing speed, making it similar to a fully automatic rifle, is shown here at a gun store on Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah. Congress is talking about banning this device after it was reported to of been used in the Las Vegas shootings on Sunday. [Photo by George Frey/Getty Images]
A bump stock device that fits on a semi-automatic rifle to increase the firing speed, making it similar to a fully automatic rifle, is shown here at a gun store on Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah. Congress is talking about banning this device after it was reported to of been used in the Las Vegas shootings on Sunday. [Photo by George Frey/Getty Images]
Published Oct. 6, 2017

WASHINGTON — The National Rifle Association says the "bump stocks" device that the Las Vegas shooter used to turn semi-automatic rifles into fully automated weapons should be "subject to additional regulations."

In a statement on Thursday, the NRA says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.

The organization which holds a powerful sway over members of Congress dismissed some of the initial response from lawmakers who have pressed for more gun control.

Said the NRA: "Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks."

The statement came from NRA leaders Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox.

Earlier Thursday, the White House said President Donald Trump welcomes a review of U.S. policy "bump stock'' devices.

Presidential spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Thursday that "we're certainly open to having that conversation."

Her remarks are part of a growing bipartisan chorus of calls to take a step in the direction of regulating guns in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre. The killer in Las Vegas apparently used the legal bump stock devices on legal rifles, essentially converting them into automatic weapons, which are banned. That allowed him to spray gunfire into the crowd below much more quickly. At least 59 people died and hundreds were injured when he opened fire on an outdoor country music festival.

Speaker Paul Ryan, the top Republican in the House says he's also open to considering a possible ban on "bump stocks''. Paul Ryan said in an interview with MSNBC that aired Thursday it's "clearly something we need to look into."

The comments from lawmakers including No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas mark a surprising departure from the GOP's general antipathy to gun regulations of any kind. But they were far from a guarantee of a path forward for the new legislation by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, especially with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan making clear their priorities are elsewhere.

Cornyn said as a hunter and sportsman he doesn't understand the use of the bump stock and wants to have a hearing on it.

The devices are known as "bump stocks," among other names. They're legal and originally were intended to help people with limited hand mobility fire a semi-automatic without the individual trigger pulls required.