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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Las Vegas shooting: NRA backs regulation over rapid fire devices

The powerful organisation said it was open to restrictions on devices that allow semiautomatic rifles to function like automatic firearms

The NRA has backed calls for restrictions on devices that allow semiautomatic rifles to function like automatic firearms. Bowmer/ AP Photo
The NRA has backed calls for restrictions on devices that allow semiautomatic rifles to function like automatic firearms. Bowmer/ AP Photo

The National Rifle Association, the largest gun-lobbying group in the United States, has said it backs regulations on rapid fire devices following the deadliest mass-shooting in US history in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Republican lawmakers said they were open to restrictions on devices that allow semiautomatic rifles to function like automatic firearms.

"The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulation," the organisation said in a statement on Thursday.

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"In the aftermath of the evil and senseless attack in Las Vegas, the American people are looking for answers as to how future tragedies can be prevented," NRA chiefs Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox added.

While many Democrats have advocated for stricter laws on guns for a long time, Republicans have traditionally objected to restrictions in line with the powerful NRA. However, the massacre at a country music festival in which 58 people died has prompted a change in thinking.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin told MSNBC that changing the law is “something we need to look into.”

The White House said it wanted to be involved in the debate over bump stocks, the device used by gunman Stephen Paddock.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "We're certainly open to that moving forward, but we want to be part of that conversation as it takes place in the coming days and weeks."

US President Donald Trump has not yet weighed in on the debate, avoiding talking about stricter gun laws in the aftermath on the shooting.

On Wednesday, the Democrats introduced legislation to Congress, which would ban aftermarket products designed to allow rapid firing.

With the support of both the NRA and the Republicans, the legislation stands a good chance of being passed through.

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