After 59 people were killed at a country music festival in Las Vegas, the conversation around gun control in the United States may have changed. Even Republican politicians, collectively the recipients of millions of dollars of campaign funding from the N.R.A., are not as ironclad in their opposition to very limited controls. “It strikes me as odd that it’s illegal to convert a semi-automatic weapon to an automatic weapon, but apparently these bump-stocks are not illegal under the current law,” said Texas Republican senator John Cornyn. “But I don’t understand the use of this bump-stock.”
While automatic weapons for private citizens have been banned in America since 1986, the bump-stock blurs the line between semi-automatic and automatic weapons. The modified stock lets the gun’s stock slide back and forth using the power of kickback to fire the rifle rapidly. A shooter would still squeeze the trigger, allowing the gun to shoot almost as fast as an automatic weapon. Nevertheless, the sale of bump-stocks has spiked since the shooting as gun enthusiasts fear a government crackdown on the modification.
But beyond making bump-stocks illegal, Republicans haven’t hinted they’re interested in further restrictions on guns. “We’re not going to talk about that today,” said President Donald Trump.
“I think that’s something we can talk about in the coming days and see what that looks like moving forward,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, echoing her boss’s remarks.
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