A majority of voters support banning bump stocks in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
Nearly eight out of 10 registered voters told Morning Consult/Politico pollsters they either “strongly” or “somewhat” support banning the use of bump stocks — a legal gun modification that mimics automatic fire and is now synonymous with the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
Three quarters of Republicans surveyed agreed, as well as 74 percent of gun owners, according to the results, which recorded answers from 1,996 registered voters last week.
The bipartisan agreement among voters mirrors a similar sentiment growing in Congress 11 days after a lone gunman rained bullets down into a crowded country music festival from a high rise hotel on the Las Vegas strip, killing 58 and wounding 489 others.
Bump stocks made headlines in the days after the Oct. 1 attack when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed 12 of the modifiers were found in 64-year-old Stephen Paddock’s two-room suite on the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay and Casino. Since then, a steady drumbeat of elected officials have tossed out proposals to regulate bump stocks while major retailers, including Cabela’s, have pulled the devices from store shelves.
The National Rifle Association even suggested the ATF reconsider existing regulations on bump stocks, though executive director Chris Cox drew a clear distinction between NRA’s position and widespread calls for a ban.
“We didn’t talk about banning anything,” he said during an interview last week on Fox News. “We talked about the ATF going back and looking at if these (bump stocks) comply with federal law.”
Not everyone on Capitol Hill, however, appears ready to vote for stricter gun regulations — including House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.
“If you talked to anybody about a week ago, most people, including myself, didn’t even know what a bump stock was,” Scalise told Meet the Press last week. “So now we’re finding out about it. There are people that want to rush to judgment. They’ve got a bill written already.”
Scalise returned to work Sept. 29 after more than three months in recovery from a near-fatal gunshot wound to the hip sustained during an attack on a group of congressional Republicans practicing for a charity baseball game.
“It’s a little bit early for people to say they know what to do to fix this problem,” he said.
Instead, Scalise says he is open to reviewing existing laws — laws he said Congress should focus on enforcing, rather than passing new ones.
“Frankly, let’s go out and enforce those laws,” he said. “Don’t try to put new laws in place that don’t fix these problems. They only make it harder for law-abiding citizens to own a gun.”