GOP bill to ease gun silencer rules appears shelved after Las Vegas shooting

Key Points
  • Paul Ryan says the House has no scheduled plan to vote on a bill that would ease restrictions on buying gun silencers.
  • A shooting in Las Vegas, the deadliest in modern U.S. history, appeared to blunt the momentum for the bill, which is backed by the NRA.
  • Democrats have called for tougher gun control restrictions, which seem unlikely in the Republican-controlled Congress.

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday said Republicans have no scheduled plan to vote on a bill that would ease rules on gun silencers, in the wake of the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history.

Reports had suggested the House could vote on the National Rifle Association-backed legislation, known as the SHARE Act, soon.

"That bill is not scheduled now," Ryan told reporters. "I don't know when it's going to be scheduled."

On Sunday night, a gunman positioned high in a Las Vegas hotel opened fire on a music festival crowd. At least 59 people died and more than 500 were injured in the massacre.

The momentum behind the already controversial firearms bill appeared to sag after the deadly shooting. A hearing on the bill was previously delayed this summer when a shooter opened fire at a congressional baseball practice, severely wounding House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

Ryan on Tuesday said the House's immediate priority is passing its fiscal 2018 budget.

The SHARE Act, cast as a bill to help hunters, includes provisions to ease restrictions on buying silencers and making it harder for regulators to classify some types of ammunition as "armor-piercing." Gun control advocates have opposed the bill.

Some prominent Democrats on Monday called for tougher gun restrictions in response to the massacre. Passing restrictions will prove daunting in the GOP-controlled Congress.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cited silencers as a possible advantage for mass shooters in her call for action.

Clinton tweet: The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.