WASHINGTON (KTVU) - Top Republicans and Democrats in Congress say they are willing to consider a ban on "bump stock" devices, which were found on twelve firearms in the gunman's hotel room after the Las Vegas mass shooting Sunday.
The "bump stock" devices are sold as attachments for semi-automatic weapons, allowing the user to fire at higher speeds approaching a fully automatic weapon.
"A little spring mechanism that actually takes the action of the gun and bounces it back and forth using the recoil, so your finger stays in place and basically the gun is moving, bouncing your finger off the trigger," said Joshua Cummins at the Elite Armory gun shop in Castro Valley.
The devices cannot be sold in California but are legal in some states. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ruled in 2010 that the "bump stocks" were attachments and therefore not subject to strict federal laws for fully automatic weapons. The ATF left regulation up to each state.
The National Rifle Association took an unusual step Thursday calling for the ATF to review the "bump stocks" and saying "The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations."
One House Republican from Florida says he plans to introduce a ban on bump stocks.
"That's what we want to prevent, for someone to be able to fire 400, 800 rounds per minute," said Florida Republican Congressman Carlos Curbelo.
"You show me the law that would stop that. Not only will I support it, I will be an advocate for that law," said Republican Senator Dean Heller of Nevada.
California Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill Wednesday calling for a "bump stock" ban and other Democrats called for bipartisan support.
"The Congress can do more than send thoughts & prayers after these tragedies and even though this is a relatively minor adjustment if we could act in concert, I think it would be a great signal to the country," said Democratic Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.
Henry Brady, Dean of the U.C. Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy says a narrow bill might pass.
"I think it's possible that if the Democrats decided that they would settle for just regulating bump fire stocks, then there could be a bill," said Brady.
But he says if both parties try to add on more regulations or loosen current gun laws, it's possible nothing will get done.
"It's quite possible that many Democrats will say we don't want to just regulate bump fire stocks. We want to do much more than that. And that will lead to an impasse because Republicans aren't going to go there," said Brady.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wants a vote on another bipartisan bill that would extend the background checks to all commercial firearm sales, including sales at gun shows and over the internet.
"There are many more things members want to do and we're saying how do we save the most lives?" said Pelosi.
Some Republicans say the nation doesn't need more gun laws.
"He had a whole arsenal of weapons. if he wanted to kill many people he could have used a number of different things. we didn't outlaw 747s after 9/11," said Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders indicated the President is interested in taking part in the discussions.
"We're expecting hearings and other important fact-finding efforts on that and we want to be part of that discussion. We're certainly open to that moving forward," Sanders said.
The NRA statement also calls on Congress to pass a federal mandate that would allow gun owners with concealed carry permits in one state, to move freely across state borders, without abiding by other states' gun laws.
Meantime, some large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Cabela's have voluntarily discontinued their online sales of "bump stock" devices.