MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The deadly Las Vegas shooting has lawmakers, and even the National Rifle Association, suggesting some changes could be made regarding gun control.
This comes as investigators comb through the history of suspected shooter, Stephen Paddock.
What they’ve found is that he may have been considering other locations for his rampage, including Chicago’s Lollapalooza, well before he opened fire on a country music festival in Las Vegas on Sunday.
Authorities say that, based on the amount of weapons found at the crime scene, they assume Paddock had to have help.
He used a gun accessory known as a bump stock to help turn the semi-automatic weapons into nearly fully-automatic ones.
The move to legislate that accessory appears to be gaining traction in Washington and with the NRA, which signaled Thursday that it supports a review of bump stocks.
The Las Vegas shooter had a number of bump stocks, which may have dramatically increased the carnage he caused.
On Thursday, the White House said it’s open to discussing whether they should be legal.
“Members of both parties and multiple organizations are planning to take a look at bump stocks and related devices,” said Sarah Elizabeth Huckabee Sanders, the press secretary for the Trump White House. “We certainly welcome that, and would like to be part of that conversation.”
Right now, a bump stock is legal: the accessory attaches to a rifle, allowing the recoil to fire the weapon more rapidly than a human finger on the trigger.
The Minnesota Gun Owner’s Caucus says it’s not opposed to debate on banning bump stocks.
But a spokesman Rob Doar says the effect could be minimal — it’s never been used in a crime before Las Vegas.
“Of course we are all moved by these kind of things,” Doar said. “But we really need to stop and think: Is this going to have the impact that we want? Is this going to decrease gun deaths?”
In Minnesota, Democratic Rep. Tim Walz is cosponsoring a bill to ban bump stocks.
And the idea is getting bipartisan support from Democrats Rick Nolan and Collin Peterson, and Republican Erik Paulsen.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar supports a ban, but says more needs to be done.
“But you should also be looking at overall what could reduce the number of homicides and deaths, and background checks should be part of the discussion,” she said.
There’s yet no word from Washington on when, or even how, bump stocks could be banned.
But the intense scrutiny has made them harder to get: A week ago bump stocks sold for about $100..
Now they’re in the $500 range.