GUN DEBATE: Could legislation prevent attacks like Vegas from happening?


Legislation to ban bump stocks has gathered bipartisan support rapidly over the past few days in the wake of the shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday.

While automatic weapons are tightly regulated in the USA, the use of bump-fire stocks in semi-automatic weapons is legal.

It said the devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to behave as fully automatic weapons should be subject to additional regulations.

NPR's Scott Detrow is on Capitol Hill and joins us now.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, introduced legislation Wednesday that would ban manufacturing or procession of accessories that accelerate a semi-automatic rifle's rate of fire to that of an automatic weapon.

They're certainly not alone as shops get more inquiries. He said he rejects customers who smell like alcohol or marijuana or "if they look a little unstable". He was speaking to Hugh Hewitt on MSNBC.

"That bill is not scheduled now; I don't know when it's going to be scheduled", he said.

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"We certainly welcome that and would like to be part of that conversation", Sanders said.

To avoid the price and hassle of buying machine guns, people have found other ways to manipulate firearms to perform like fully automatic weapons.

DETROW: It is worth pointing out, worth looking into is a long way from we'll hold a vote on this next week.

Also known by the brand name Slide Fire, bump-fire stocks, or "bump stocks", modify such rifles as an AR-15 to "allow it to fire in rapid succession or automatic fire", said Sam Rabadi, a retired ATF special agent.

It was a surprising move, given how the powerful USA gun lobby has been leading the fight against new gun controls since the massacre at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013, when 20 children and six adults were killed.

But some believe bump-fire stocks, while legal, violate the spirit of gun restrictions.

Police in Boston and Chicago said they were aware of the reports and investigating them. The NRA has been very silent since the shooting. But it was a bit of a surprise.

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

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There is a bit of a catch here.

Van Cleave also said he opposes the NRA's announcement. "Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks".

DETROW: So many Republicans here and the White House is saying something similar.

The "how" we know, but it's the "why" we are still waiting for. I learned that as a mayor.

"We'll be talking about gun laws as time goes by", Trump said Tuesday.

This is one of the examples gun rights advocates point to, stating that shooters will find a way to get their hands on guns legally or illegally.

A number of Republicans have come out in favour of reviewing gun accessories, showing signs bi-partisanship - at least on this issue - could be achieved.

According to a report published in June by Pew Research Center, a Washington-based think tank, 48 percent of Americans either say they grew up in a household with guns or now own guns, and around seven in ten say they have at some point fired a gun - even those who have never owned a firearm.

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The Second Amendment has endured for more than two centuries for a reason: it is a key constitutional right that is meant to protect people's freedoms, and the President understands that.