In a newly released portion of Adam Laxalt’s interview with conservative columnist Victor Joecks of the Las Vegas Review Journal, the Republican attorney general and gubernatorial hopeful gave questionable responses to a line of inquiries on regulating bump stocks, the device that the 1 October shooter used to fire a semi-automatic rifle like an automatic machine gun.
In response to Joecks asking Laxalt if he would sign a law as governor banning bump stocks, Laxalt completely dodged the question and kicked the issue to the federal government, saying “that’s a federal step.”
But other states, like Massachusetts and New Jersey, have taken matters into their own hands and passed bump stock bans after 1 October. Both laws were signed by Republican governors. Local government officials in Nevada have tried to pass their own bans, but that power lies only at the state level in Nevada.
When Joecks pressed him again to answer the question directly on the state’s ability to take its own steps to regulate bump stocks, Laxalt was noncommittal:
Laxalt: “I’d be willing to take a look at that. I’d like to see what the federal government is gonna do with this thing.”
Joecks then asked if more could be done to prevent another tragedy like the one on October 1, 2017. Laxalt said he thinks we should “slow down” on looking for ways to prevent future tragedies like 1 October. He also asserts that “nothing would have prevented” the 1 October shooter from murdering 58 people, yet passing a law regulating bump stocks could have prevented the gunman from purchasing a tool that enabled him to fire his rifle like a machine gun and cause so many deaths in a short time.
Laxalt: “I think it’s important to slow down on October 1…I think it’s unfortunate that these type incidents are used politically every time. And this one is yet another example of where there is no law — there is no background check law. There’s nothing that would have prevented this particular incident.”
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Helen Kalla released the following statement:
“The rate of mass shootings in this country is not slowing down, but Adam Laxalt thinks we should ‘slow down’ on trying to prevent more horrific cases of gun violence like 1 October and the tragedy at a Parkland, FL high school just yesterday. When given the chance to stand up for Nevada’s right to pass its own public safety laws, Laxalt pulled a signature cowardly dodge and then punted to the federal government. The fact that Laxalt went from discussing a bump stock ban to saying nothing could have prevented the 1 October tragedy just shows that his only position on gun safety is whatever talking points the NRA feeds him. Nevadans deserve a governor that would fight tooth and nail to keep us safe, and Laxalt made it clear he’s not willing to do that.”