President Donald J. Trump (L) and Executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre (R) attend a meeting February 1 at the White House in Washington, D.C. On Thursday, LaPierre released a statement saying the ATF should review whether bump stocks are legal. File Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 5 (UPI) -- The National Rifle Association on Thursday said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should review whether federal law allows the use of bump stocks, devices that allow the rapid firing of a semi-automatic weapon.
ATF officials said Stephen Paddock used bump stocks on 12 of the rifles he used Sunday when he opened fire on a crowd of concert goers from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The rapid firing killed 58 people and injured more than 500.
"The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations," NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and Executive Director Chris Cox added in a joint statement.
The NRA, the United States' largest gun-lobbying group, said though that outright banning of guns would not have stopped the "criminal act of a madman."
Earlier Thursday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said lawmakers would look into the legality of bump stocks.
"I think we're quickly coming up to speed with what this is," Ryan told MSNBC. "Fully automatic weapons have been banned for a long time. Apparently this allows you to take a semiautomatic and turn it into a fully automatic. So clearly that's something we need to look into."
Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., planned to introduce legislation Thursday or Friday to ban "bump stocks," a spokeswoman said. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced a similar bill in the Senate Wednesday.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders restated the president's position, that he wanted to wait until the cause of Sunday's mass shooting has been determined before the administration starts trying to fix the problem.
On the bump stock legislation, she said "we certainly would welcome that" and "would like to be part of that conversation."
Ultimately, Sanders added, "the president's a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. That hasn't changed."