GOP Members Of Congress Ask ATF To Reevaluate Bump Stocks

Sipa USA via AP

Three Republican members of Congress sent a letter Wednesday to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) requesting the agency “expeditiously” re-evaluate bump stocks to make sure they’re in compliance with federal law.

“If the re-evaluation shows otherwise, we request that you move swiftly to issue appropriate rulings concerning the manufacture, sale, transfer and importation of these mechanisms, as well as any other mechanism that is expressly designed to simulate the automatic fire of a machine-gun,” the letter, spearheaded by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL),  said.

The legislators said they would study options to close any “loopholes that might exist in current statutes governing the regulation of machine-guns.”

Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Martha McSally (R-AZ) signed onto the Kinzinger letter.

The bump stock device, which authorities believe was used in the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, allows a semi-automatic riffle to fire like an automatic weapon. The House members said re-evaluating the device is a “commonsense” way to respond to the attack that left 58 dead and nearly 500 injured.

“We recognize that it is impossible to prevent tragedy — we cannot stop evil in its many forms, and we cannot gauge the level of hate in someone’s heart,” the letter said. “But we can come together to find commonsense ways in which to blunt the damage these evildoers are able to inflict upon other citizens while ensuring protection of individuals’ civil liberties and rights under the Constitution.”

Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis also indicated he was in support of the request to the ATF, saying Congress is asking for more information “to be educated on the issue and the current law,” he said in a statement sent to The News-Gazette, a local publication.

Read the full letter below:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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