Texas Republican sees ‘no reason’ for bump stocks, open to ban
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON)– Rep. Bill Flores, a popular Texas conservative serving in his fourth term in the House, is the first congressional Republican to endorse the idea of a ban on bump stocks.
Bump stocks, which are capable of converting semiautomatic firearms into fully automatic weapons, have become a topic of hot debate this week after a modified bump stock rifle was found in the hotel room from which gunman Stephen Paddock launched Sunday’s attack in Las Vegas, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.
Flores’ spokesman confirmed the congressman’s position, first reported by The Hill Wednesday.
Flores previously served as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus of conservatives in Congress, and is widely respected by the House Republican Conference for his principled conservatism.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, the senior Republican senator from Texas, also told reporters Wednesday that the bump stock issue is worth examining, and that he spoke with Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, about holding a hearing.
“I will tell you that the unique aspect of the bump stock and how you would literally transform a semiautomatic weapon into an automatic weapon is something that I think bears looking into, and I talked to Chairman Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee,” Cornyn said. “I believe that once the investigation is complete and we learn all aspects of what contributed to this event, then we should have a hearing and look into it, and that should include the bump stock but also any other aspect of this terrible crime that we need to look at from a federal perspective.”
Several other Senate Republicans also signaled their desire for a hearing on bump stocks.
“While I am generally skeptical of banning firearms or firearm accessories outright, I am certainly open to Congress holding hearings to learn more about bump stocks and related matters,” Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who co-authored the last comprehensive effort on gun control, wrote in a statement.
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said Congress should examine the Obama administration’s approval of the accessory.
“We need to determine what happened in 2010 when the Obama administration approved those, the why, the what, what was the process they were going through to do the approval,” Lankford said. “There’s a lot more to be able to be discovered.”
Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and John Thune, R-S.D., also indicated they’d be open to hearings on the issue.
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