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Bump Stock Ban Gains Steam With NRA Blessing

On Wednesday, the National Rifle Association (NRA) released a statement which lined up in agreement with Democrats, and most Republicans, on the need to examine “bump stocks” in relation to whether the devices are in violation of federal law. The “bump stock” is an accessory which allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire as if it was a fully automatic rifle. The item was approved for sale under the Obama administration since 2010, and is largely seen as a gimmick or a toy for wasting a lot of ammo while target shooting. However, this “toy” became all too real when gunman Stephen Paddock allegedly used the device to unload hundreds, perhaps thousands of rounds, in a 9 minute span from a Las Vegas hotel room last Sunday, killing 59 people.

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The report on this development from CNN:

The National Rifle Association announced Thursday that it supports a review of bump fire stocks to see if they are in accordance with federal law.

The group’s support comes following the mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas earlier in the week and amid calls to ban the devices, which allow semi-automatic weapons to simulate automatic weapon fire.

The NRA is typically the nation’s most prominent lobbyist group against stricter gun regulations.

“The National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law,” the NRA said in a statement. “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”

The debate on banning bump stocks is taking place on Capitol Hill. Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo is planning to introduce legislation Thursday to ban the sale of them.

“I think we are on the verge of a breakthrough when it comes to sensible gun policy,” Curbelo told reporters Thursday.

Curbelo said his office has been “flooded” with calls from fellow lawmakers inquiring about the bill.

The White House is open to legislation to ban bump stocks, press secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday, and added that the administration wants to be part of the conversation in the days to come.

“We’re certainly open to that moving forward,” Sanders said.

Here is an excellent report from CBS News which explains what a bump stock is and exactly how it works to allow a semi-automatic rifle to simulate the rapid fire of a fully-automatic:

Some major retailers, such as Cabela’s and Walmart, have already begun pulling the item off the shelf, according to reports.

The NRA also added to their statement that while they support examining the bump stock as a possible violation of current federal law, they’d also like to see lawmakers come together and agree on a framework for national concealed carry reciprocity between states. That change, while supported by the President and Republican lawmakers, will likely not fly when it comes to getting Democratic votes, especially in the Senate.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reiterated her proposal to increase background checks and call on House Speaker Paul Ryan to create a select committee to find common ground on gun violence at a CNN town hall Wednesday.

Pelosi also noted that there could be bipartisan support around the banning of sales on bump stocks.

“I do think there would be bipartisan support coming together to pass a bill to make it illegal to sell those because you can buy them now,” Pelosi said Wednesday.

On Thursday, Ryan also signaled he would be open to examining the legality of bump fire stocks, telling Hugh Hewitt in an interview that “clearly that’s something we need to look into.”

As indicated by Pelosi, Democrats would like to see more gun control laws passed beyond banning the bump stock accessory, but that is unlikely to happen given opposition from Republicans. It may be the circumstance, that we rarely see, when both parties agree on something, and it’s very likely that bump stocks get pulled from the shelves if lawmakers can agree on getting rid of them.

Nate Ashworth :Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

View Comments (14)

  • The headline is misleading. There is no NRA "blessing" on ANY ban of anything. Let's not suggest any altruism on their part.

    The NRA is NOT supporting ANY legislation to limit ANY equipment. In fact, as noted in the story, the NRA is working to promote more gun availability--to destroy states' abilities to legislate in their own states.

    All the NRA is really saying is that they would, you know, like to talk to the feds--only at the executive level--to find IF the equipment is illegal, and by the time the talking peters out, nothing will happen.

    • Sounds like they're proposing limiting the equipment to me:

      “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”

      "Additional regulations" can mean a lot of things whether they're banned by ATF or legislation, but at minimum, it means limitations.

      • Propaganda. They want to "support" administration action in order to prevent legislation. If they can shut up Congress, the public's attention will move on to the next tweet.

        Also, they're just saying bump stocks should be limited "differently." To the NRA, "limited differently," means "not at all."

        On Fox News Sunday:

        “We don’t believe that bans have ever worked on anything,” NRA Executive Director Chris Cox said . . .our concern is that all this focus on devices takes away the attention from the underlying behavior.”

  • I am curious as to why they are not already illegal given that fully automatic weaponry is allegedly banned? This converts a semi-automatic into precisely that. It should be a given that it also banned.

    • ATF apparently examined them in 2010 when they came on the market and decided they didn't have an issue with them so they let them be sold without limitation. Never was noticed until now.

      • Shame on ATF then as the end result is the same. They should quite rightly be banned and ownership should be criminal.

        • Semiautomatic assault weapons are not protected by the Second Amendment. The federal government and the states can outlaw them, a point underscored by none other than the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who emphasized that the Second Amendment protects gun ownership of the types of arms that were "in common use" in 1791, when the Second Amendment was adopted.

          A semi-auto rifle’s magazine can hold anywhere from 4 to 100+ rounds. What hunter could ask for more chances for a kill of an unprotected animal or human than that?

          The Slide Fire that is getting so much attention just helps the shooter mimic automatic gunfire but limits the ability to aim accurately.

          • The second amendment could hardly be more irrelevant. Written at a time of no standing army, based on the assumption that militias are required (they are not) and vastly vague regarding arms. Either we stick with muskets or we have to allow ownership of ICBMs to combat "tyrrany". It is one amendment grotesquely in need of an overhaul.

          • The right of self defense is the ?rst law of nature, it doesn’t need an amendment. The "militia" in colonial America consisted of a subset of "the people" – those who were male, able bodied, and within a certain age range. "right to keep and bear arms" protected only a right to possess and use firearms in connection with service in a state-organized militia.

            The first US Army was formed June 14, 1775 while the US was still a British colony. No where in the US Constitution does it even faintly suggest that we have to rely on the musket as our only form of military defense in combat.

            No where in the constitution will you find where civilian are entitled to ownership of ICBMs. Those weapons are for use by our Armed Forces to protect America.

            If you want to see guns from their beginnings and all that goes with them then head out to your nearest Cabela store. I spent an afternoon in one not long ago and as a history buff I was spellbound.

          • It states "right to bear arms" with no qualification as to what that encompasses. The government has missiles. Do, if we disallow missiles and bombs, then why not assault rifles too? Either muskets only, or we allow everything, as it currently stands. That is how ridiculous it is. As well as the fact that the assumption renders the requirement for arms redundant.

          • It’s time you let your left hand knows what your right hand is doing.

            I can only suggest that you read the US Constitution one more time especially on the right to bear arms. In the 1770’s the chief weapons of war were muskets, single shot cannons, flintlock pistols and cutlasses. Are you suggesting we should have remained in a time warp and still be using this outmoded form of wartime defense today?

            Time has a way of marching on, bringing new and better inventions, to make our lives easier and safer. Today, the United States has a near monopoly (second to Russia) of having the most aircraft carriers, aircraft, cruise missiles, tactical nukes, and drones, just a few of the weapons in our protective arsenals.

            I had some difficulty translating your last sentence. Did you mean: “the requirements for arms are a pretension and an unpleasant quality in people”? If so, good luck with your musket.

          • I'm not sure if you're missing my point here or something. The 2nd amendment is based on an assumption regarding tyrrany that no longer holds. It is also based on the vague term "arms" which has caused us, along with blind reverence, to get into this mess in the first place. As well as the ridiculous "shall not be infringed" clause which makes it ever difficult to actually bring this reasonably up to date.

            If we are to continue to allow the privilege of gun ownership, which is NOT guaranteed by the 2nd amendment in its current wording, then it MUST be amended in order to qualify its limits in a modern context.

            You say that ICBMs are military restricted and yet civilians can own assault rifles which should similarly be restricted. Which is precisely the point. The 2nd amendment states no where what arms are allowable. If we are to defend ourselves from tyrrany in a modern context, then clearly muskets from the time would be insufficient. We need a whole lot more: missiles, drones, etc. But, of course, that would be ridiculous. Twitter is a far more effective weapon against tyrrany than any gun. Egypt's recent insurrection being a case in point.

            I agree that military hardware shouldn't be owned by civilians. So, let us update the constitution to state precisely what is allowed, relevant to us today, rather than the ridiculously outmoded and change-averse wording we have now. And start taking responsibility for the needless and easily avoidable atrocities that we ALL allow on a daily basis by our apathy and wilful ignorance on the facts regarding gun control and the grand myths regarding "protection". You statistically increase the chance of being hurt through gun ownership. I am surprised that people still blindly ignore the facts regarding this. Cognitive dissonance at play, unfortunately.

            The right to safety is a human right, buy that does not give anyone the right to own guns indiscriminately without reasonable regulations to prevent misuse. If militias should be regulated, then so should civilians and that is what desperately needs to change here.

            Doing nothing isn't going to cut it any more. This has to change.

  • The gun control issue will never be solved to ones satisfaction. The issue that can be resolved is who is responsible for a mass killing.

    In the latest case we have the shooter, the casino, and the musical forum. Who bares a lot of responsibility.

    In my opinion the shooter and the casino are at fault. The shooter for obvious reasons and the casino for failing to recognize a psychopath. Failing to notify the police of this madman.