White House ‘Open’ to Conversation About Banning or Regulating Bump Stocks

Melanie Arter | October 5, 2017 | 8:17pm EDT
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White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (CNSNews.com/Melanie Arter)

(CNSNews.com) - The White House said Thursday that it is open to having a discussion on banning or regulating bump stocks, but it is waiting for the investigation to reveal the reason why a gunman opened fire on a concert-goers in Las Vegas before it talks about gun violence prevention.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked whether the president supports legislation to ban or regulate bump stocks, devices that allow a semi-automatic weapon to continuously fire, which investigators say the gunman used in the massacre.


“Right now our focus, as we've said over the last couple of days, has been on healing and uniting the country. The investigation still continues to be in very early stages. We know that members of both parties in multiple organizations are planning to take a look at bump stocks and related devices,” Sanders said.

“We certainly welcome that, would like to be part of that conversation, and we would like to see a clear understanding of the facts. And we'd like to see input from the victims' families, from law enforcement, from policymakers, and we're expecting hearings and other important fact-finding efforts on that. And we want to be part of that discussion, and we're certainly open to that moving forward,” she added.

Sanders said President Donald Trump is “a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.”

“That hasn't changed. This is a president who wants to look at -- I think at this point in the process, I think we all need to take a step back,” she said.

“We had one of the most horrific tragedies that's ever taken place on U.S. soil, and before we can run out and start talking about the preventions for something like that to happen again -- which we all certainly want to do -- we have to determine what caused it,” the press secretary said.

“We haven't gotten that far down the road. That's something that law enforcement agencies are all collaboratively working day in, day out to do. We want to help support that effort in any way possible. And again, I think that this administration's position is extremely clear. We would look at taking any step we could to prevent something like this from happening again,” Sanders added.

Sanders said the White House is “open” to having a conversation on bump stocks, but she added, “I don't think that we want to go out and start having and making rash decisions while we're still on an open investigation.”

“We'd like to get more facts about what we can do, not just in this case -- but this is a president who's very committed to doing every single thing he can, every single day, to protect American lives, whether that's securing the border, whether that's defeating ISIS, whether that's containing North Korea, and whether that's looking at legislative fixes that may be necessary to help protect American lives,” she said.

Meanwhile, the NRA released a statement Thursday, saying it believes that bump stocks “should be subject to additional regulations.”

"In the aftermath of the evil and senseless attack in Las Vegas, the American people are looking for answers as to how future tragedies can be prevented. Unfortunately, the first response from some politicians has been to call for more gun control,” NRA President Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA Institute for Legal Action, said in a statement.

“Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks. This is a fact that has been proven time and again in countries across the world,” they said.

“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. In an increasingly dangerous world, the NRA remains focused on our mission: strengthening Americans' Second Amendment freedom to defend themselves, their families and their communities,” they added.

“To that end, on behalf of our five million members across the country, we urge Congress to pass National Right-to-Carry reciprocity, which will allow law-abiding Americans to defend themselves and their families from acts of violence,” the statement concluded.

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