Las Vegas Shooting: Why the NRA Now Supports Regulations on ‘Bump Stock’ Devices

October 5, 2017, 8:03 PM UTC

In the days since Sunday’s Las Vegas shooting that killed at least 59 people and left more than 500 wounded, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has been silent. On Thursday, the NRA’s executive vice president Wayne LaPierre and its executive director Chris Cox released a joint statement saying that bump fire stocks, a gun accessory that can essentially turn semi-automatic weapons into rapid-fire machine guns, should be regulated.

“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” LaPierre and Cox say in the statement. The sentence stands out within the statement by the NRA, because the organiation typically resists any regulations on guns and gun ownership.

For instance, the beginning of the NRA statement addresses that very point.

In the aftermath of the evil and senseless attack in Las Vegas, the American people are looking for answers as to how future tragedies can be prevented. Unfortunately, the first response from some politicians has been to call for more gun control. Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks.

However, the group’s message ends with a call for Congress to pass the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, a bill that was introduced in January by Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) in January, and would allow handgun owners with a concealed carry license in one state to bring their weapon across state lines to other states that also allow concealed weapons. The bill, say LaPierre and Cox, would “allow law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families from acts of violence.”

Though the investigation into the Las Vegas shooting is still underway, authorities have not revealed any relation between the event and the ability to carry concealed weapons across state lines. Thursday’s statement by the NRA is not so much an endorsement of bump fire stock regulations as it is the use of a hot-button issue to make a point about another issue that is more dear to the NRA’s membership and mission.