NRA calls for regulation of 'bump stocks' after Las Vegas massacre

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 3:16 PM

What is a Bump Stock?

The National Rifle Association is calling for federal officials to review regulations that allow people to buy devices which can make semi-automatic guns fire at a rate similar to automatic weapons in the wake of a mass shooting that left nearly 60 people dead and hundreds injured.

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Authorities told The Associated Press that they found a dozen of the devices, known as bump stocks, on weapons used Sunday by Stephen Paddock to fire hundreds of bullets at people gathered in Las Vegas for the Route 91 Harvest music festival.

In a statement released Thursday, NRA officials said that the group “believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”

A bump stock device (left) that fits on a semi-automatic rifle to increase the firing speed, making it similar to a fully automatic rifle, is installed on a AK-47 semi-automatic rifle, (right) at a gun store on October 5, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Congress is talking about banning this device after it was reported to of been used in the Las Vegas shootings on October 1, 2017. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)(George Frey/Getty Images)

The lobbying group also reiterated its commitment to fight against gun regulation.

“The first response from some politicians has been to call for more gun control,” officials said. “Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks.”

The statement was issued as lawmakers consider the possibility of banning the devices.

>> Related: What is a bump stock, how does it work and is it legal?

"If somebody can essentially convert a semi-automatic weapon by buying one of these and utilizing it and cause the kind of mayhem and mass casualties that we saw in Las Vegas, that's something of obvious concern that we ought to explore,” the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, said on Thursday. "I own a lot of guns and as a hunter and sportsman I think that's our right as Americans, but I don't understand the use of this bump stock and that's another reason to have a hearing."

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said at a news briefing on Thursday that the administration would be “very open” to discussing the possibility of banning bump stocks.

“We welcome, certainly, that and conversation on that,” she said.

President Donald Trump visited Las Vegas on Wednesday but said "We're not going to talk about that today" when asked about gun issues.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Florida school shooting survivor's mother says her family has received death threats

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 9:45 AM

WATCH: Survivors Recount Florida High School Shooting

The mother of Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg is speaking out after her family received death threats because her son and another survivor were accused of being crisis actors.

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Hogg and fellow students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, have made frequent media appearances to call for action on gun control after police say Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and injured more than a dozen others in a Valentine’s Day massacre.

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The students have since become the center of a false conspiracy theory claiming that they are actually actors who are coached before television appearances.

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Rebecca Boldrick, Hogg’s mother, told The Washington Post that her family has received death threats since the conspiracy theories started surfacing, saying, “I’m under so much stress.”

“I’m angry and exhausted,” she added. “Angry, exhausted and extremely proud.”

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The student has said he's not a “crisis actor” but rather someone who witnessed a tragedy.

“It’s annoying. I hate it. But it’s part of American democracy,” Hogg said in an interview with the Post. “Am I an actor? No. Am I a witness? Yes.”

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House releases Democrats’ rebuttal to GOP memo on alleged government surveillance abuses

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 4:23 PM

 House Intelligence Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks at the Council On Foreign Relations .
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
 House Intelligence Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) speaks at the Council On Foreign Relations .(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The House Intelligence Committee Saturday released the Democrats’ rebuttal to the Republican memo alleging the FBI and Department of Justice engaged in questionable tactics in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia. 

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Schiff Memo by National Content Desk on Scribd

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The 10-page memo, released two weeks after President Donald Trump blocked it and after wrangling between Democrats and DOJ officials, was authored by ranking Intelligence Committee Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) in response to one by House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), and disputes allegations that illegal tactics were used to get warrants to surveil a former Trump campaign aide.

“The Democratic response memo released today should put to rest any concerns that the American people might have as to the conduct of the FBI, the Justice Department and the FISC. Our extensive review of the initial FISA application and three subsequent renewals failed to uncover any evidence of illegal, unethical, or unprofessional behavior by law enforcement and instead revealed that both the FBI and DOJ made extensive showings to justify all four requests,” Schiff said in a statement Saturday after the release of the memo.

Trump tweeted a response to Schiff’s document release Saturday, calling the Democrats’ memo “a total political and legal bust.” He also repeated his claims that special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign is a “witch hunt.”

The president released the Nunes memo last month, which contained information purporting to show that the FBI and DOJ did not provide complete information when requesting a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant to watch one-time Trump campaign member and foreign policy advisor Carter Page.

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The release of both memos came over the objections of investigators in the intelligence communities.

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Student boxer dies in amateur charity event, after collapsing during fight

Published: Saturday, February 24, 2018 @ 11:10 PM

College Boxer Dies in Amateur Charity Event

Tennessee college student died in the middle of an amateur boxing match Friday night in Knoxville, authorities said.

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University of Tennessee junior Tanner Wray, 20, collapsed on the mat as he was walking to his corner in the second round of his fight in the 38th annual Ace Miller Memorial Boxing Tournament.

Wray, an aerospace engineering and science student from Lawrenceburg, Tenn., was boxing in the ninth bout of the night and appeared to be winning the fight according to a boxing official that was ringside.

The rest of the event, which is organized by Knoxville Golden Gloves, was canceled.

Wray, a former high school quarterback, was fighting for the Chi Phi fraternity, of which he was the Vice President.

Wray was given immediate medical attention, but attempts to revive him appeared to be unsuccessful according to eyewitnesses, and he was transported to UT Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

It did not appear any major punches were landed, witnesses say.

The following statement from Knoxville Golden Gloves was published by Boxingweekend.com:

With great sadness, we remember Joseph Tanner Wray and his family and the tragic loss that occurred on Friday, February 23, 2018. The entire Golden Gloves family is heartbroken by his passing and extend our most heartfelt condolences to all that knew and loved Tanner. 

Over the last 50 years, Knoxville Golden Gloves has worked to keep boxers safe and to avoid any serious injuries in over 6,000 amateur boxing bouts. 

On February 23rd, after the end of the second round, Tanner collapsed. Within seconds, a team of 11 medical professionals attended to him and provided care and transferred him to UT Medical Center. The doctors and nurses did everything possible to resuscitate Tanner, but were unsuccessful. 

After this tragic event, the remainder of the tournament was cancelled out of respect to Tanner. Golden Gloves is fully cooperating with all ongoing investigations and is hopeful the results will assist in preventing similar tragedies in the future. 

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Daredevil squirrel makes Olympic dash onto ski slope, snowboarder misses it by inches

Published: Sunday, February 25, 2018 @ 9:41 AM

Daniela Ulbing of Austria barely missed slicing a squirrel in half during a heat for the Ladies' Parallel Giant Slalom Elimination Run on day fifteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 24, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Daniela Ulbing of Austria barely missed slicing a squirrel in half during a heat for the Ladies' Parallel Giant Slalom Elimination Run on day fifteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Phoenix Snow Park on February 24, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

A squirrel became an unwitting Olympic participant on Saturday when the furry rodent dashed onto the parallel giant slalom snowboarding course and barely missed being run over or sliced in half by Austrian snowboarder Daniela Ulbing.

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Unfortunately for Ulbing, she wasn’t quite as lucky as the squirrel. Though she won the heat that was almost thwarted by the squirrel, she fell in the next round to Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic.

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But, Ulbing can’t be too disappointed with her loss to Ledecka. The Czech snowboarder is a regular winter games sensation. At only 22 years old, she made history at the 2018 games by becoming the first female athlete to win gold medals in different sports — she won the gold in alpine skiing last week.

After a fun and freezing few weeks, the winter games are finally preparing to wrap up. At the moment, the Norwegians are at the top of the pack with 13 gold medals and 38 total. They’re followed by Canada and Germany. The Americans are in fourth place with nine gold medals and 23 total.

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And, while the sports and squirrels were fun, this year’s games also had a lot of diplomacy going on in the stands and around the venue. Vice President Mike Pence kicked off the games with his visit to South Korea where he sat only feet away from the sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un during the opening ceremony. President Trump’s daughter and special adviser, Ivanka Trump, is in South Korea now for the closing ceremony.  

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