• Senator says no law could’ve stopped Vegas gunman

    WASHINGTON – Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a leading gun control advocate, said Sunday no law could have stopped the Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock.

    “No, he passed background checks registering for handguns and other weapons on multiple occasions,” Feinstein told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

    But that hasn’t stopped the California Democrat from authoring legislation to ban so-called “bump stocks” which Paddock used to convert semi-automatic guns to behave more like illegal fully automatic weapons.

    Republicans and the National Rifle Association have expressed openness to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives placing regulations on bump stocks. But they worry penning new legislation in Congress would be a slippery slope to more intrusive gun controls.

    “Regulations aren’t going to do it,” Feinstein said on the need for a law over an ATF rule. “We need a law. It can’t be changed by another president.”

    NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre has called for the ATF to review its previous approval of bump stock sales, but wouldn’t commit to Feinstein’s legislative ban on the accessories.

    “I think you want to tell ATF to do its job. It’s an interpretive issue and they need to get the job done,” LaPierre said Sunday on “Face the Nation.”

    Feinstein, who has actively pushed for assault weapon bans in the past, marveled at how her legislation — a narrow ban of bump stocks — is less ambitious.

    “The state is sad,” Feinstein said of the debate over guns in America on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “America is a gun-happy country. And I think there are many of us in growing numbers that don’t want a gun-happy country.”

    Meanwhile, lawmakers are considering an NRA-backed plan for a concealed carry reciprocity law which would allow someone who has a concealed carry permit in one state it to carry a gun throughout all states, like a license to drive.

    “That bill is it’s terrible,” Feinstein said. “I represent 40 million Californians, and I can say without hesitation Californians do not want concealed carry.”

    Sen. Charles Schumer has also called the legislation “dangerous” by allowing concealed handguns to be carried on New York City subways, tourist hubs and Penn Station.

    But LaPierre said it’s important “good guys” can protect themselves – regardless of their location.

    “People want to be able to protect themselves when they cross a state line,” LaPierre said. “That’s why we’re fighting for reciprocity. It’s about the good guys protecting themselves.”

    He added: “Nobody should be forced to face evil with empty hands.”

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