GOP lawmaker calls for tougher rules on background checks, bump stocks

Rep. Ryan CostelloRyan Anthony CostellloBottom line Former GOP Rep. Costello launches lobbying shop Head of Pennsylvania GOP resigns over alleged explicit texts MORE (R-Pa.) on Sunday called for tougher rules on background checks and bump stocks, and appeared to signal support for a ban on assault rifles following the deadly shooting in Parkland, Fla.

"The Toomey-Manchin bill should pass. That should be done. Bump stocks should be done We need to do the Fix NICS [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] bill," Costello, who represents a swing district in suburban Philadelphia, told MSNBC's Kasie Hunt. 

The lawmaker was referring to a bill being revived by Sens. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyGOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy NSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general MORE (R-Pa.) and Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDemocratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December MORE (D-W.Va.), which calls for expanding background checks for firearms purchases. 

Costello also referenced bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic guns to be modified to shoot hundreds of rounds per minute, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal plan to contain Washington protests employs 7,600 personnel: report GOP Rep calls on primary opponent to condemn campaign surrogate's racist video Tennessee court rules all registered voters can obtain mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 MORE suggested he wanted to ban. Costello had signed on to a bill last year that would have also banned the devices following the mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas. 


Pressed if by Hunt if he would support a ban on assault rifles, Costello appeared to signal he would if it were defined correctly.

"I think that there's a group of things that everyone can agree to, and then we move into this discussion and hopefully develop a vocabulary that everyone can wrap their arms around," he said.

The development comes after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this month with an AR-15, killing 17 and wounding several others. 

The FBI and the Broward County Sheriff's Office are under intense scrutiny after it was revealed red flags were raised about the suspect in the shooting, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, in the lead-up to the tragedy.

Cruz purchased the AR-15 last year. 

The shooting has reignited the debate over gun control across the country, with many calling for tougher measures. 

Trump has offered an array of ideas, including "comprehensive" background checks, banning bump stocks and raising the minimum age to purchase weapons like the AR-15 to 21.

Various Republican lawmakers and the National Rifle Association have in turn spoken out against raising the age to buy an AR-15.