The National Rifle Association is now endorsing on bump stocks, an accessory that the Las Vegas shooter used to fire bullets as fast as a machine gun.
In a statement on Thursday, the NRA says the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should immediately review whether the devices comply with federal law.
The organization which holds a powerful sway over members of Congress dismissed some of the initial response from lawmakers who have pressed for more gun control.
The NRA said, "Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks." The statement came from NRA leaders Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox.
The device was created ostensibly to help people with disabilities more easily fire AK- and AR-platform long guns. It causes the gun to buck back and forth, repeatedly "bumping" the trigger against the shooter's finger. Technically, that means the finger is pulling the trigger for each round fired, keeping the weapon a legal semi-automatic. Because it creates a significant rocking motion it also means that the gun is "spraying" bullets and it's difficult to hit a target.
The B&S Gun Store in Garland, where Las Vegas shooter purchased some weapons when he lived in North Texas, said they agree that something should be done about the bump stocks.
Owner Paul Peddle said his store has never carried the bumps and will not install them for anyone. He believes they are too dangerous when put to use on a gun.
“We know to buy a full auto is expensive, but you have to do it the right way,” Peddle said. “That to us is far more important than installing a part that we’re not comfortable with or that we feel is very safe.”
Peddle says he got 25 calls within a couple of hours on Thursday from people who fear the device may soon be banned.
Eagle Gun Range owner David Prince says he is shocked and disappointed by the NRA’s latest stance.
“If they want to revisit it, fine. But when you start taking away our rights to defend our families, it makes a lot of people upset,” Prince said.
The gun range owner says bump stocks are tools that can be used to keep families safe.
“When you start taking away our rights a little at a time, you end up keep going further,” he said.
The call to reconsider rules for bump stocks comes as lawmakers from both parties are gearing up to consider legislation on the matter.
Even the Senate's number two Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, is calling bump stocks a "concern that ought to be explored."
Walmart announced Thursday afternoon that a third-party vendor had been selling the part on their website and that the items were being removed immediately. It appears Cabela's has also removed them from online sales.