NATION

At least 58 people were killed and more than 500 others injured after a gunman opened fire Sunday night at a country music festival across the street from the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, authorities said.

What you need to know:

  • The mystery of Stephen Paddock -- gambler, real estate investor, mass killer
  • Who were the victims? A special education teacher. An off-duty police officer. 'The best dad.'
  • How a Las Vegas concert went from melody to mayhem
Gun Control

GOP still plans to vote on NRA-backed legislation that eases gun restrictions

Congress has been unable, or unwilling, to approve gun control legislation after recent mass shootings — including one targeting lawmakers playing baseball — and it is unlikely to consider new bills after the attack in Las Vegas.

To the contrary, House Republicans are on track to advance legislation easing firearms rules, including a package of bills backed by the National Rifle Assn. that would make it easier to purchase silencers.

Opponents of the bill argue that making silencers more prevalent could worsen the impact of mass shootings. Supporters say silencers can prevent hearing damage among hunters.

The Sportsman's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE Act) was introduced last month, and gun advocates hoped for swift passage. It would allow gun owners to transport registered firearms across state lines, carry guns in national parks and eliminate the $200 transfer tax on silencers.

Earlier versions of the bill had stalled under President Obama, but advocates have been hopeful that Congress will send it to President Trump's desk to become law.

"America’s gun owners have been waiting for many years for Congress to send the SHARE Act to the president’s desk," the NRA's legislative arm wrote last month when the bill was introduced. "Their patience may now be rewarded with the strongest, most far-reaching version of the Act yet."

The legislation was advancing through Congress even after gun safety advocates raised concerns that silencers could prove even more deadly in a mass shooting.

Another NRA priority is a bill that would allow gun owners who live in states that allow people to carry concealed weapons to carry them in other states, overriding state laws to the contrary. That bill has not been scheduled for a vote. 

Bills toughening gun laws, a subject on which the nation has long been bitterly divided, have repeatedly stalled in Congress. Nearly all Republicans in Congress oppose new gun control legislation, and several Democrats from rural states have also voted to stop previous gun control moves. 

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who has taken the lead on gun safety issues after a gunman opened fire and killed 20 children at a Newtown elementary school in 2012, urged lawmakers to act.  

“This must stop. 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," Murphy said. "It's time for Congress to get off its ass and do something."

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