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

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. 

ADVERTISEMENT

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 HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (Nev.), John CornynJohn CornynThere will be no new immigration law under Biden, unless he changes course Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls Cornyn is most prolific tweeter in Congress so far in 2021 MORE (Texas), Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstTop female GOP senator compares Cheney ousting to 'cancel culture' Conservative Club for Growth PAC comes out against Stefanik to replace Cheney A bipartisan effort to prevent the scourge of sexual assault in the armed forces MORE (Iowa), Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonLoeffler group targets Democrats with billboards around baseball stadium Warnock raises nearly M since January victory Five big takeaways on Georgia's new election law MORE (Ga.), James LankfordJames Paul LankfordRubio and bipartisan group of senators push to make daylight saving time permanent Senate inches toward COVID-19 vote after marathon session Ron Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many MORE (Okla.), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiUtah county GOP censures Romney over Trump impeachment vote Bottom line Pollster Frank Luntz: 'I would bet on' Trump being 2024 GOP nominee MORE (Alaska), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottJuan Williams: Tim Scott should become a Democrat Clyburn says he's willing to compromise on qualified immunity in policing bill Democrats hit crucial stretch as filibuster fight looms MORE (S.C.), John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneTop female GOP senator compares Cheney ousting to 'cancel culture' GOP braces for wild week with momentous vote Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women MORE (S.D.), and James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate nixes Trump rule limiting methane regulation | Senate confirms EPA chief: Biden's climate goals are 'an opportunity to lead' | Fine-particle pollution disproportionately hurts people of color: research EPA chief: Biden's climate goals are 'an opportunity to lead' Senate confirms Pentagon policy chief criticized by Republicans for tweets MORE (Okla.) signed onto the letter.