Senator Grassley says ‘bump stocks’ were made legal in Obama administration

DES MOINES — Senator Chuck Grassley is joining two of his colleagues in the Iowa Congressional delegation in calling for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to take another look at its rule allowing so-called “bump stocks.”

Those devices were used by the sniper in last week’s mass shooting in Las Vegas. Grassley, a Republican, is shifting the blame, saying bump stocks were deemed legal for sale during President Obama’s time in office.

“I would advocate very much for ATF reconsidering their rule,” Grassley says. “I’m quite surprised that something like that would happen during the Obama administration when they tended to have more of an anti-gun attitude than the present administration does or the majority of Congress holds.”

Congressman David Young and Senator Joni Ernst, both Iowa Republicans, are calling on the Trump Administration to quickly review federal regulations on the devices, which enable semi-automatic weapons to fire much more rapidly. Grassley says he’s against making a knee-jerk reaction and will not introduce legislation right away on bump stocks or anything else relating to restrictions on firearms.

“We’re going to wait until we get all of the evidence that we need from the Nevada shooting, oughta’ wait until the police reports are done,” Grassley says. “Just today some new information came out, as an example, and I think that we will move accordingly.” Grassley says the ATF ruled in 2010 that it would not regulate the bump stock device.

“This tends to make a gun that you’ve got to pull the trigger each time you want to shoot a bullet kind of like an automatic,” Grassley says. “If automatics are outlawed, it seems to me like it was ridiculous for the Obama administration in the first place to put something in that would make a non-automatic gun an automatic gun.”

The shooter in Las Vegas opened fire on the night of October 1st from a 32nd floor hotel room window, spraying bullets into a crowd at a country music festival. A woman from northwest Iowa was among the 58 people killed, and more than 500 were injured in the stampede.

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