01:01 - Source: CNN
Johnson backs bump stock ban after Vegas

Story highlights

The accessories are legal

Currently the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives does not regulate their manufacture and sale

Washington CNN —  

House Speaker Paul Ryan called for a regulatory fix for bump fire stocks Wednesday rather than passing legislation that was proposed in the House and Senate.

“We think the regulatory fix is the smartest, quickest fix,” he said during his weekly news conference at Capitol Hill when asked about how to address the devices, also known as bump stocks.

Bipartisan legislation banning the gun accessories was formally introduced Tuesday in the House of Representatives, led by one of the most politically endangered House Republicans, Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo.

The rare effort by 20 members of both parties to restrict these devices follows the mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and hundreds more injured earlier this month.

Rare bipartisan gun control bill on bump fire stocks introduced following Las Vegas massacre

Guns found in the hotel room of Vegas gunman Steven Paddock had been modified with bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire ammunition much more rapidly, similar to the rate of automatic weapons.

The accessories are legal and currently the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives does not regulate their manufacture and sale following a legal opinion issued under the Obama administration.

CNN reached out to the ATF for response to lawmakers calling on them to act and the bureau has not directly answered if they will change the regulation.

Following the shooting, many Republicans on Capitol Hill admitted they didn’t know bump stocks existed, how they worked or the fact that they were so readily available. Many GOP members said they would review any legislation outlawing them, but top leaders and gun rights groups are also suggesting that there’s a way to use new regulations to address the issue and avoid votes on a ban.

Ryan pointed out last week that fully automatic weapons are already banned and noted that there’s already an effort to study whether stricter guidance from an executive branch agency is possible.

CNN’s Deirdre Walsh and Sunlen Serfaty contributed to this report.