Nine Republican senators sent a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Friday asking the agency to review its policy on bump fire stocks, a firearm accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire more like automatic ones.
“We recognize that it is impossible to prevent tragedy and acts of ‘pure evil,’ in the words of our President. We believe, however, the tragic events in Las Vegas brought to light an issue from this past Administration that we respectfully request that your Bureau swiftly review,” senators wrote to ATF. “Press reports of the crime scene in Las Vegas, Nevada, indicate that certain devices were used to modify the firearms involved.”
The Republican senators who signed the letter were Dean Heller of Nevada, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, John Cornyn of Texas, Joni Ernst of Iowa, John Thune of South Dakota, Johnny Isakson of Georgia and James Inhofe and James Lankford, both of Oklahoma.
The senators urged ATF to review an Obama-era agency decision that concluded that bump stocks were legal under US gun laws.
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Bump stocks have become a central issue on Capitol Hill this week after news reports indicated that the Las Vegas shooter had attached them to guns found in his hotel room. The shooter killed 58 people and injured hundreds more Sunday night.
Republicans in Congress have raised concerns about the bump stocks, but some have said in the last day — after the National Rifle Association issued a letter pushing the ATF to review its policies — that they believe that specific bureau has the jurisdiction to handle the issue.
Democrats, meanwhile, have argued that Congress should legislate on the gun accessories.