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NRA releases surprising statement on bump stocks used by Las Vegas killer

The National Rifle Association released a statement advocating for the increase in gun control in relation to bump stocks — the modification used by the Las Vegas shooter. (George Frey/Getty Images)

Much of the debate around gun regulation has focused on bump stocks, a modification that uses the recoil of a semi-automatic gun to mechanically mimic and simulate the effect of a fully automatic gun. Now the NRA has released a surprising statement on the issue.

What did the NRA say?

"In Las Vegas, reports indicate that certain devices were used to modify the firearms involved. Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law," the statement read.

"The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations," it concluded.

Why is this surprising?

The NRA has been a stalwart defender of gun rights and the Second Amendment, and has been characterized as stubborn and obstinate on any increase in gun regulation.

How did Democrats respond?

Sen. Dick Blumenthal (D-Conn.) did not welcome the statement.

"The NRA call for review & regulation of bump stocks is a dangerous, deceptive dodge," he tweeted. "Bump stocks should be banned completely — right now."

What about Republicans?

Many Republicans have already said they'd be OK with banning bump stocks, and President Donald Trump said the White House would be looking at the issue shortly.

Would banning bump stocks be effective?

Critics say that it would do little to stop people like the Las Vegas killer, who was willing to slaughter hundreds, since there are many other methods to modify a semi-automatic gun to make it act like a fully automatic gun. In fact, there are do-it-yourself methods of making your own "bump stocks" at home.

Others think Trump should back the ban of bump stocks to mollify Democrats, even if it would do little to actually curb gun deaths.

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