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Ryan sides with NRA for regulatory fix on 'bump stocks,' not legislation, after Las Vegas shooting

Lisa Mascaro, Tribune Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, siding with the National Rifle Association, said Wednesday he prefers limiting "bump stocks" used in the Las Vegas massacre through administrative action, rather than legislation.

"We think the regulatory fix is the smartest, quickest fix," Ryan told reporters.

The GOP leader's approach largely reflects that of the NRA, which announced a surprise willingness after the Las Vegas shooting to consider limits on the devices that can essentially turn assault rifles into automatic weaponry.

Relying on administrative review, though, would likely squash efforts underway for a potentially more lasting legislative solution through law, and shield lawmakers from taking potential tough votes at odds with the NRA on a gun safety issue.

Several bills, including one from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and a bipartisan House proposal that has drawn 20 Republican and Democratic sponsors, are making their way through Congress after the shooting that left dozens dead and hundreds injured at an outdoor concert on the Las Vegas Strip.

Authorities believe the Las Vegas gunman used the device in his rampage, which they said was the most deadly mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

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Under the Obama administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowed access to bump stocks, a decision Republicans now want to review.

"It makes sense that this is regulation that probably shouldn't have happened in the first place," Ryan said. "And I'd, frankly, like to know how it happened."

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