House

Top conservative calls for ban on device used by Vegas shooter

The former chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee said Wednesday that the device used by the Las Vegas gunman to modify a semi-automatic weapon to shoot more rapidly should be banned.

Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), a gun owner himself, may be the first Republican in Congress to call for a ban on bump stocks.

"I think they should be banned. There's no reason for a typical gun owner to own anything that converts a semi-automatic to something that behaves like an automatic," Flores told The Hill in an interview just off the House floor.

"Based on the videos I heard and saw, and now that I've studied up on what a bump stock is - I didn't know there was such a thing - there's no reason for it," Flores said.

"I have no problem from banning myself from owning it."

Authorities said a dozen of the rifles the Las Vegas shooter had in his hotel room had been modified with a bump stock, a device which allows a firearm to fire more rapidly. The gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, killed at least 58 people and injured more than 500 others attending a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip Sunday night.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation on Wednesday that would close a loophole allowing semi-automatic weapons to be modified to behave like automatic weapons. The bill would ban bump stocks and similar devices.

Fully automatic weapons have been illegal for more than 30 years.

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