Senate panel to hold hearing on bump stocks, background checks

Senate panel to hold hearing on bump stocks, background checks
© Greg Nash

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on rules regulating firearm accessories and the national background check system in the wake of mass shootings in Texas and Las Vegas. 

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP senators eager for Romney to join them Five hurdles to a big DACA and border deal Grand jury indicts Maryland executive in Uranium One deal: report MORE's (R-Iowa) office announced on Tuesday that they will hold a hearing in one week on "firearm accessory regulation and enforcing federal and state reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)."

The formal announcement comes after a spokesman for the Iowa Republican told The Hill on Monday that the Senate panel would hold a hearing on bump stocks, a device that can simulate automatic gunfire with a semi-automatic weapon.

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Lawmakers have honed in on bump stocks after a mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas, where nearly 60 people were killed and more than 500 others were injured. 

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

Meanwhile, senators are also mulling legislation to try to strengthen NICS in the wake of this week's shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Devin Kelley, the identified gunman, received a “bad conduct” discharge from the Air Force after being court-martialed on a domestic violence charge. Kelley’s court-martial conviction should have been reported to the FBI’s database and could have made it harder for him to purchase a gun legally.

But Air Force officials on Monday said the Holloman Air Force Base Office of Special Investigation did not enter Kelley’s information into the system.

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynMcCarthy: ‘No deadline on DACA’ NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Hoyer suggests Dems won't support spending bill without DACA fix MORE (R-Texas), a member of the Judiciary Committee, said earlier Tuesday that he will introduce legislation to strengthen information sharing with NICS.

And Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichTrump, GOP fire back over Fusion GPS testimony Overnight Cybersecurity: Computer chip flaws present new security challenge | DOJ to offer House key documents in Russia probe | Vulnerability found in Google Apps Script Overnight Cybersecurity: Senators unveil election security bills | North Korea denies WannaCry role MORE (D-N.M.) are working on legislation to require that the military report domestic violence convictions to the national background check system.

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMcCain rips Trump for attacks on press NSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Meghan McCain says her father regrets opposition to MLK Day MORE (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, separately told reporters that he will hold a hearing on the Air Force's failure to report the conviction to the background check system, according to Stars and Stripes.