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N.R.A. Asks for Tougher Rules on Rapid-Fire Device for Guns

Friday - 06/10/2017 02:21
The National Rifle Association endorsed tighter restrictions on rapid-fire devices like the one used by the Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock.

LAS VEGAS — The National Rifle Association on Thursday endorsed tighter restrictions on devices that allow a rifle to fire bullets as fast as a machine gun — a rare, if small, step for a group that for years has vehemently opposed any new gun controls.

Twelve of the rifles the Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock, had in a high-rise hotel suite when he opened fire on a crowd on Sunday were outfitted with “bump stocks,” devices that allow a semiautomatic rifle to fire hundreds of rounds per minute, which may explain how he was able to shoot so quickly, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds of others. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has ruled that bump stocks do not violate laws that tightly limit ownership of machine guns, and some lawmakers have called for them to be banned.

The bureau should revisit the issue and “immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law,” the N.R.A. said in a statement released Thursday. “The N.R.A. believes that devices designed to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”

• Investigators on Wednesday confirmed that the gunman had left a note inside his suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. “It was not a suicide note — I’m comfortable saying that,” Sheriff Joseph Lombardo of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said.

• “It never occurred to me in any way whatsoever that he was planning violence against anyone,” Marilou Danley, the gunman’s girlfriend, said in her first public statement on Wednesday.

• Of the 489 people injured in the shooting, 317 have been discharged from hospitals and about 50 are in critical condition.

• Top congressional Republicans, who for decades have resisted any legislative limits on guns, signaled on Wednesday that they would be open to banning “bump stocks,” the firearm accessory Mr. Paddock used to transform his rifles to mimic automatic weapon fire.

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