All Politics is Local

Republicans hesitantly support gun control

I’ve spoken to Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground’s office three times in the last two days about gun control, an issue that has permeated the nation this week in the wake of yet another mass shooting. At each instance in lieu of a stance, I’ve been told the representative will review any gun control bill if it comes up for a vote.

Herrera Beutler may have no comment about the regulation of bump stocks, but her party does.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Congress needs to take a look at bump stocks, which were used by the Las Vegas shooter to convert his semi-automatic rifles into weapons with a firing rate resembling automatic weapons.

Many, including Ryan, were unaware of bump stocks. The device covers the trigger opening, allowing the gun to fire at a pace resembling that of an automatic weapon as the recoil “bumps” the trigger while firing. It can increase the number of rounds per minute from between 45 and 60 to between 400 and 800.

Washington’s Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray co-sponsored a bill, along with 24 others, Wednesday to ban bump stocks and similar devices.

Surprisingly, the National Rifle Association is also on board. Or at least open to these regulations.

“Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law,” the NRA said in a statement made Thursday.

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., is expected to introduce a similar bill in the House soon, NPR reports. At which point Herrera Beutler will presumably read the bill and maybe, just maybe, have something to say.

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