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GOP senators want review of Obama-era decision on bump stocks

A group of GOP senators is requesting the Trump administration review an Obama-era decision on a firearm attachment used by the gunman who killed at least 58 people in Las Vegas.

Nine GOP senators sent a letter to Thomas Brandon, the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF), on Friday asking that they "review the Obama Administration's interpretation and issue your own interpretation" on the attachment.

"Unfortunately, we are all now keenly aware of how this device operates and believe that this renewed review and determination will keep our citizens safe and ensure that federal law is enforced," they wrote.

The device, known as a bump stock, can be used to simulate automatic gunfire with a semi-automatic weapon.

The letter comes after the massacre that injured more than 520, during a shooting on Sunday night at a country music concert in Las Vegas.

Authorities have said a dozen of the rifles used by the suspect, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, had been modified with bump stocks.

Though fully automatic weapons are banned, bump stocks are legal. The ATF wrote in a mid-2010 letter to two companies that bump stock "is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm under the Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act."

President Trump said on Thursday that he is open to considering a ban on the firearm attachment, and that he would be "looking into" the issue.

The letter also comes as there appeared to be bipartisan momentum this week behind new restrictions on bump stocks, with both Republicans and Democrats backing legislation. Democrats are also pushing for broader background checks for gun sales in the wake of the shooting.

GOP Sens. Dean Heller (Nev.), John Cornyn (Texas), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), James Lankford (Okla.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Tim Scott (S.C.), John Thune (S.D.), and James Inhofe (Okla.) signed onto the letter.

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