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GOP Republicans Are Turning Their Back On Gun Owners, Set To Make Sweeping Restrictions

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The tragic massacre that happened outside a Las Vegas hotel during a country music festival, leaving 59 dead and hundreds more injured, has reignited the debate on gun control in the U.S. While Republicans in Congress are likely hesitant to back any huge bills that would go beyond what the National Rifle Association would deem allowable, there are indications that some in the GOP are willing to back a ban on certain accessories.

Bump-fire stocks (sometimes referred simply as bump stocks) are devices that are placed on semi-automatic weapons that allow a user to rapidly fire bullets from their weapons in a succession so fast it resembles the speed and succession of automatic weapons. While automatic weapons are illegal, bump stocks that essentially turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons are permissible to purchase.

To a lot of lawmakers, that doesn’t make a lot of sense — why should an accessory that turns a legal weapon into an otherwise illegal one be easy to purchase? Indeed, Stephen Paddock, the man who carried out the mass shooting in Las Vegas, had several bump stocks attached to dozens of weapons he stashed in his hotel room.

A bill authored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) would ban the sale and purchase of bump stocks. Other lawmakers, when asked about the proposal, signaled they’d look at the bill and possibly consider it. Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), who already thought bump stocks were illegal, told reporters, “I’d look at [the bill], for sure.”

“I’d want to make sure that nobody has access to that, if that’s [currently] the law of the land,” he added.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) also suggested he’d be open into learning more about Feinstein’s bill. After more information comes to light about the massacre in Las Vegas, and if bump stocks were indeed a part of the issue, “we should have a hearing and look into it,” he said.

To be sure, many other Republicans have signaled their defiance to any gun regulations. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), for example, stated that he wouldn’t even take the time to consider looking at Feinstein’s bill. “I’m a Second Amendment man, I’m not for any gun control,” he said.

Still, it’s at least a little bit reassuring to see that some Republicans are willing to have the conversation about aspects of gun control, even if it is a narrow part such as accessories like bump stocks. A much larger conversation on gun culture and whether a need truly exists for legally allowing citizens to own assault rifles (like those used in so many mass shootings) is still worth having. But at least for now, a small glimmer of hope exists on taking proactive steps to control gun violence in America.


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