- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 5, 2017

Sen. Jeff Flake said Thursday there will be hearings from the mass shooting in Las Vegas about both gun laws and mental health awareness.

“I don’t think anybody had heard of a bunk stock, or most people hadn’t, I certainly hadn’t, until just a couple of day ago. But anybody who heard the audio or saw the video, and heard what that sounded like … you thought that’s an automatic weapon,” Mr. Flake, Arizona Republican, said on Fox News.

The shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night left 58 people dead and 489 injured. The gunman, Stephen Paddock, had a stockpile of 23 guns in his room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Police found another 19 at his Mesquite, Nevada, home and seven at a Reno property.

While investigators are still determining his motive, the amount of weapons found suggests a pre-planned attack, according to law enforcement.

Mr. Flake said that he wants to know more about the motive and other factors prior to holding hearings on gun laws.

“Automatic weapons have been illegal since the 1930s. So yeah, there are going to be some hearings. We are going to learn more in the coming days and weeks and months,” he said.

The senator also said that states and the federal government need to communicate more about mental health patients, particularly if there’s a belief the patients could bring harm to others.

“I’m certainly supportive of strengthening our mental health system. Notification states and the federal government don’t share info on mental health issues, as they should,” Mr. Flake said, referring to states that submit mental health records to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

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