Newt Gingrich said it may be time to update the nation’s gun laws in the wake of gunman Stephen Paddock’s mass shooting in Las Vegas over the weekend.
The former U.S. House speaker appeared on Fox News Channel on Wednesday to discuss Sunday’s massacre along the the Las Vegas Strip, which killed at least 58 people and wounded over 500 others. The conversation eventually turned to methods for modifying rifles and other firearms when Mr. Gingrich indicated support for new gun control measures.
“I also think some of the technology has to be looked at,” the Republican pundit said, Mediaite reported. “Look, if there is something that makes it easy to convert a semiautomatic into an automatic, maybe that does have to be looked at and put under the federal firearms act, which makes it illegal to have a genuinely automatic weapon. I think this is as technology changes, sometimes we have to change the rules to catch up with those technologies.”
The former lawmaker was specifically talking about “bump stocks,” which Paddock used to increase the firing rate of his semiautomatic weapons.
“There is a new technology, which is relatively cheap, that enables you to take a semiautomatic weapon and convert it into an automatic weapon, which is illegal,” Mr. Gingrich said. “It strikes me as a practical common sense thing that we ought to find some way to make — take that particular device and make it part of the illegal to have an automatic weapon.”
He then stressed that Second Amendment issues should be deliberated carefully since the Constitution is in place to “protect the right to bear arms … as a political right to enable you to preserve your liberty.”
Authorities are still trying to determine a motive for Paddock’s massacre.
The 64-year-old took his life as authorities closed in his 32nd-floor suite inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, although his girlfriend flew into Los Angeles from Manila to speak with the FBI on Tuesday night.
Marilou Danley, 64, was pronounced a “person of interest” by investigating authorities shortly after Paddock’s attack.