Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called on Congress to reject legislation that would make it easier to purchase a firearm silencer in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. After a gunman killed at least 58 people in Las Vegas, Clinton blasted the National Rifle Association for advocating looser gun control laws.
On Oct. 1, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Nevada opened fire from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and into a crowd attending a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip. The mass shooter had reportedly taken his own life before a police SWAT team breached his room, after he killed at least 58 people and injured roughly 515 others. Paddock had not had any previous run-ins with law enforcement, according to CNN.
On Oct. 2, Clinton took to social media to express her condolences to Paddock's victims and to call for political action to prevent a future massacre.
"Las Vegas, we are grieving with you -- the victims, those who lost loved ones, the responders, & all affected by this cold blooded massacre," Clinton tweeted.
"The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots," the former Democratic presidential candidate added. "Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get. Our grief isn't enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again."
The House is currently considering The Hearing Protection Act, a provision of a legislative package dubbed the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act. The amendment would deregulate gun suppressors, potentially enabling people to purchase a gun silencer without a background check, McClatchy DC Bureau reports.
The provision's co-authors, GOP Reps. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina and John Carter of Texas, have asserted that lifting current restrictions on suppressor purchases would help American hunters and other gun owners better avoid hearing loss when they discharge their firearms.
In a statement, NRA spokesperson Jennifer Baker called the amendment "a top priority for the NRA, our members and the tens of millions of law abiding hunters, sportsmen and shooters across the country."
Clinton was not the only high-profile Democrat to call for political action following the Las Vegas mass shooting. Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who became a vocal advocate for stricter gun laws following the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting in 2012, released a statement blasting his colleagues and the NRA.
"This must stop," Murphy said, according to The Hill. "It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren't public policy responses to this epidemic. There are. and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference."
Murphy added "It's time for Congress to get off its a*s and do something."