The U.S. gun lobby, which has seldom embraced new firearms-control measures, expressed a willingness to support a restriction on the rifle accessory that enabled a Las Vegas gunman to strafe a crowd with bursts of sustained gunfire as if from an automatic weapon.
Video: The latest mass shooting in the U.S. didn’t just happen anywhere. It happened in Las Vegas, a place where gun entertainment has become very popular. Jane Lanhee Lee reports.
The gunman Stephen Paddock, police said, fitted 12 of his weapons with so-called bump-stock devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to operate as if they were fully automatic machine guns, which are otherwise outlawed in the United States.
Authorities said his ability to fire hundreds of rounds per minute for 10 minutes from a 32nd-floor hotel suite was a major factor in the high casualty count of 58 people killed and hundreds wounded. Paddock, 64, killed himself before police stormed his suite.
The carnage on Sunday night across the street from the Mandalay Bay hotel ranks as the bloodiest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, surpassing the 49 people shot to death last year at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
The influential National Rifle Association (NRA), which staunchly opposed moves to tighten gun control laws after the Orlando massacre and others, said on Thursday bump stocks, which remain legal, “should be subject to additional regulations.”