The National Rifle Association continued to say federal regulators should “do its job” about bump fire stocks, implying the item should be restricted, but stopped short of supporting a legislative ban.
NRA’s leadership — head lobbyist Chris Cox and chief executive officer Wayne LaPierre — hit the Sunday morning political shows to clarify points made earlier in the week, which garnered mixed reactions from NRA supporters and other gun rights organizations.
Their responses were largely intertwined with comments on the motives of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, whose proposal to ban bump stocks has gained bipartisan support, calling out hypocrisy of “elites” and blaming former President Obama.
On Face The Nation, LaPierre responded to the direct question asking if the NRA support’s legislation to ban specifically bump stocks, saying: “It’s illegal to convert a semiautomatic to a fully automatic. ATF needs to do its job. They need to look at this and do its job.”
Host John Dickerson clarified that ATF ruled based on the letter of the law, so the proposal would update the regulation, LaPierre said: “No, we think ATF ought to do its job, look at this, and draw a bright line.”
The ATF on at least two occassions approved the bump stock design, approving the item because it does not modify the internal mechanics of a firearm, the device “is not regulated as a firearm under Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act.”
When attached to an AR rifle, a bump fire stock allows the semi-auto firearm to mimic a full-auto firearm. The device uses the recoil to push the device back and forth, allowing a shooter to repeatedly depress the trigger.
A gunman in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 equipped a dozen or so rifles with a bump stock and opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 from a hotel room on the 32nd floor, resulting in 58 people dead and almost 500 others injured.
“Our concern is that all this focus on devices takes away the attention from the underlying behavior and utnil we address that, these things are going to continue to happen,” Cox told Chris Wallace on Fox News Morning.
Cox was more straightforward in his answering of a direct question regarding whether or not bump stocks should be banned.
“We don’t believe bans have every worked on anything. What we said has been very clear that if something transfers a semi-automatic to function like fully automatic than it aught to be regulated differently,” Cox said. “Fully automatics are regulated differently in this country. If something copies a semi-automatic into a fully automatic than those should be regulated as well.”
The organization released a statement last week calling for the ATF to “immediately review” bump stocks to determine if they comply with federal law and said it believes devices like it should be subject to additional regulations. Both Cox and LaPierre expanded upon their views on Fox News shortly after releasing the statement.
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