Trump open to talks on bump stocks

Last Updated Oct 5, 2017 6:53 PM EDT

President Trump on Thursday said he will be looking at the issue of "bump stocks," a device law enforcement officials believe the Las Vegas shooter used to increase his rate of fire, soon.

"We'll be looking into that over the next short period of time," Mr. Trump said in a meeting with military leaders Thursday evening. 

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders earlier in the day said the White House is "open" to conversations about banning or further regulating bump stocks. 

Sanders made the remarks during the White House press briefing moments after the National Rifle Association (NRA) announced it would support additional regulations on bump stocks, and as members of Congress — including some Republicans — are looking to restrict the firing device that can convert a semi-automatic weapon so it fires like an automatic weapon. Sanders said the White House wants to be a part of conversations others are hosting to reconsider bump stocks. 

"We certainly welcome that, would like to be part of that conversation," Sanders said. "And we would like to see a clear understanding of the facts. And we'd like to see input from the victims' families, from law enforcement, from policy makers. And we're expecting hearings and other important fact-finding efforts on that and we want to be part of that discussion. We're certainly open to that moving forward."

Moments before, the NRA called on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to determine whether bump stocks are in compliance with federal law. The NRA statement was a momentous one, as the organization rarely publicly supports any further restrictions on gun rights. 

"Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law," the NRA statement said. 

Asked if the president's consideration of any further restrictions on gun rights extends only to bump stocks, Sanders said the president wants to take a step back and evaluate what exactly caused the shooting that left dozens dead and hundreds injured. Sanders, asked if the president would lead any conversations on bump stocks, said he has a different focus for now.

"I think right now the position of the president has been to lead on the effort of uniting our country," Sanders said.  

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.