President Donald Trump on Thursday said his administration is considering whether "bump stock" devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to perform more like fully automatic weapons should be banned in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre.
Trump said ahead of a dinner with senior military leaders at the White House, "We'll be looking into that over the next short period of time."
The president's remarks come amid 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 58 people were killed and hundreds were injured when he opened fire on the outdoor country music festival.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier Thursday that the president welcomed a review of U.S. policy on the devices, apparently used by the shooter, to make his weapons more deadly.
The National Rifle Association has said the devices should be "subject to additional regulations." And House Speaker Paul Ryan said a ban is "clearly something we need to look into."
In a statement Thursday, the NRA said 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 in a statement: "Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks."
The devices known as "bump stocks," among other names, are legal and originally were intended to help people with limited hand mobility fire a semi-automatic without the individual trigger pulls required.