The National Rifle Association ventured into unfamiliar territory last week when it endorsed new restrictions on a “bump stock” that accelerated gunfire in the Las Vegas massacre. NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said Sunday that the NRA may oppose writing those restrictions into law, the Washington Post reports. LaPierre said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should review the matter. “I think you want to tell ATF to do its job. It’s an interpretive issue, and they need to get the job done,” he said. Las Vegas shooter fitted bump stocks on at least a dozen of the 23 firearms in his hotel room. The accessories helped him fire semiautomatic weapons with a rapidity approaching that of a fully automatic gun. His assault from the 32nd floor window of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino left 58 dead and hundreds injured in minutes.
Lawmakers from both parties endorsed tighter controls on bump stocks. The NRA and some in Congress think the issue can be addressed without legislation if ATF reversed rulings made during the Obama administration that confirmed the devices were legal. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said no Republicans have signed on as co-sponsors to a bill she is proposing that would ban the sale, transfer and manufacture of bump stocks, trigger cranks and other accessories that can accelerate a semiautomatic rifle’s rate of fire. “Regulations aren’t going to do it. We need a law,” Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on “Face the Nation.” “It can’t be changed by another president. Right now we’re seeing one president change actions of a president that came before him. And that would happen in this area. And I would hope that Americans will step up and say ‘Enough is enough. Congress, do something.’ ”