NRA Spox Dodges Questions On Bump Stock Ban: That’s Congress’ Job

On Thursday, the National Riffle Association released a statement that called on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ARF) to review whether the bump stock device — which authorities believe was used by the Las Vegas gunman — is in compliance with federal law that bans automatic riffles.

A day later, the NRA’s outspoken spokeswoman Dana Loesch wouldn’t say whether she supports a ban on the gun accessory that allows a semi-automatic riffle to function like a fully automatic weapon.

Appearing on Fox Business Friday morning, she dodged questions about whether she would support tightly written legislation that bans the bump stock devices, saying, “I’m not an elected official” and “I don’t want to engage in hypothetical arguments.”

“Dana, come on. I want your opinion on bump stocks and getting rid of them,” Stuart Varney, host of Fox’s “Varney and Co.,” said.

“This is why we elect Congress to do this,” she said.

When Varney asked for her opinion again, she repeated that it’s Congress’ job, eventually saying that the NRA doesn’t support confiscation and they’re “not asking for a ban.”

“We are asking the ATF to just simply look at the regulations, this is a question of the ATF and whether it’s doing its job with consistency here,” she said. “(Wayne) LaPierre was incredibly clear when he said that last night and further NRA members have been incredibly clear on this. What isn’t clear is where Congress is. What isn’t clear is the job that Congress needs to do. What isn’t clear is the consistency, or rather lack thereof, from the ATF these past eight plus year. That’s where our focus is.”

While she said Congress needs to do its “job,” she was likely referencing Republican members of Congress coming up with legislation that isn’t “Diane Feinstein’s gun control circus,” she said.

“We can talk about things that can be done, we can talk about the system that failed. Universal background checks failed in California twice,” she said, spouting out mass shooting instances in which a gunman was able to legally obtain a weapon. “I will tell you people want to protect themselves from the monsters. We want to protect ourselves. The system we are told to trust is not doing it for us.”

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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