The NRA's strategic ploy on bump stocks

07 October 2017, 12:08 | Isaac Mcdaniel

SOCIAL MEDIA People run for cover in the hail of bullets

People run for cover in the hail of bullets

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.

A comparison by The New York Times said while automatic rifles can fire 98 shots in seven seconds, in the Las Vegas shooting, semi-automatic rifles used with a bump stock fired 90 shots in 10 seconds.

But many conservative media outlets, which often mirror sentiments among the base and help stoke action, aren't convinced.

The most prominent USA gun lobby group on Thursday said it agrees to placing restriction on a device that accelerates gunfire, after a version of it was discovered in the arsenal of Las Vegas killer Stephen Paddock, who was behind the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

Breitbart News has run several articles in the last several days criticizing Republicans for considering legislation to ban the gun modifications.

"Look, I didn't even know what they were until earlier this week", House Speaker Paul Ryan told MSNBC's Hugh Hewitt on Thursday.

The argument for the legality of bump fire stocks is that the rifle itself remains semi-automatic. "Bump-fire stocks, while simulating automatic fire, do not actually alter the firearm to fire automatically, making them legal under current federal law". Moreover, Breitbart Second Amendment columnist AWR Hawkins wrote that eliminating them would be part of a "typical leftist war on the poor".

Senate majority leader Dianne Feinstein said Wednesday she is introducing legislation to ban bump fire stocks in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre.

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The Federalist repeatedly mocked gun control proponents on the left advocating for banning bump stocks, pointing out that individuals could teach themselves to bump-fire without the stocks. Unfortunately, the first response from some politicians has been to call for more gun control.

In separate posts, the site wrote that host Chris Cuomo spread "fake news" about bump stocks and that host John Berman "flaunted his lack of firearm knowledge" by saying that the bump stock converts a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon. It frees the weapon to slide back and forth rapidly, harnessing the energy from recoil when the weapon fires.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives approved the devices for sale in 2010.

"Let's stay focused on the possible", she said.

Maybe the NRA is also motivated by genuine belief that bump stocks are a bad thing and need to be more regulated. Other further to his right also seemed open to at least discussing the issue: Rep. Dave Brat told Business Insider that he'd be open to debating bump stocks.

The White House says President Donald Trump welcomes a review of US policy on so-called bump stock devices that legally make semi-automatic rifles into faster-firing automatic weapons.

"I agree with Greg", Watters conceded.

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