WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of lawmakers formally requested that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reevaluate bump stocks and similar mechanisms to ensure full compliance with the federal law earlier this week.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Ennis) joined the bipartisan group of his colleagues in a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Acting Director Thomas Brandon.

“Evidence suggests the perpetrator of the horrific attacks in Las Vegas on Oct. 2 may have used a commercially obtainable bump stock to modify the rate at which shots can be fired," stated Barton. "While we cannot legislate away hate and anger that is the root of evil acts like the one in Las Vegas, we can and should evaluate means to deter and slow the damage.

"I have and always will be a strong proponent of the Second Amendment. Mentally competent, law-abiding citizens must have the right to own a firearm. It is my hope through these reviews and other commonsense proposals we can collectively find a way forward.”

Under the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, new machine guns and fully automatic weapons are heavily restricted for civilians in the United States. The letter asks that the ATF review whether the modifications provided by the “bump stock,” simulate a machine gun or fully automatic weapon.

A “bump stock” or “bump fire stock”, is designed to replace the weapon’s original shoulder stock to allow the rest of the weapon to slide backward and forward, harnessing the kinetic energy of the weapon’s recoil to allow for a more rapid trigger pull, thereby dramatically increasing the rate of discharge.