An incredible new report by McClatchy finds that even after the Las Vegas mass shooting, NRA-backed members of Congress are still hoping to pass dangerous legislation to roll back silencer safety laws in order to “score a win for one of the largest financial backers, the National Rifle Association,” all “while battling a public relations nightmare.”
In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, House Republicans continue to quietly advocate legislation that would make it easier to buy suppressors to muffle gun noise.
The effort contrasts with the GOP’s more public stance.
Republican leaders are making a point of seeking to ban devices that helped the Las Vegas shooter convert his firearms into automatic shooting machines. Gunman Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and wounded hundreds October 1 when he fired on concert-goers from his hotel room.
The Republicans’ dual-track strategy shows how the party is struggling to meet the demands of its pro-gun rights base on the political right while battling a public relations nightmare…
Despite last week’s mass shooting, House Republican lawmakers and leadership aides confirmed to McClatchy that they still hope to hold a floor vote on the SHARE Act, which includes the so-called “Hearing Protection Act” that would roll back silencer safety laws and make it easy for people with dangerous histories to buy silencers without a background check. The silencer industry trade group, the American Suppressor Association, has taken credit for writing that legislation, which it says could grow silencer industry profits “by 10 times.”
McClatchy also describes the SHARE Act as a favor to the gun lobby:
Of course, Republicans would also be happy to score a win for one of the largest financial backers, the National Rifle Association, which has championed deregulating gun suppressors for years and finally sees an opportunity for victory with a Republican now in the White House.
“The Hearing Protection Act is a top priority for the NRA,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said in a statement to McClatchy a few days before the Las Vegas shooting.
McClatchy adds that: “On its face, the easy political option would be to stay the course on banning bump stocks and move the SHARE Act forward without the suppressor provision. So far, that doesn’t appear to be the strategy.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has refused to say when he will schedule a vote on the SHARE Act. Meanwhile, as bipartisan momentum continues in Congress to prohibit bump stocks, the NRA leadership’s response to the Las Vegas mass shooting is to repeatedly call on Congress to gut state gun laws through its number one priority, “Concealed Carry Reciprocity.”