The U.S. House of Representatives has not yet scheduled a vote for a bill that would loosen regulations on silencers, but Speaker Paul Ryan did not rule out a vote in the future.
In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, gun control advocates criticized Republican lawmakers for their sponsorship of a bill that would make it easier to buy suppressors, often popularly referred to as silencers.
"I don't know when its going to be scheduled," Ryan said of the bill. We're focusing on passing our budget."
On Sunday, 59 people were killed and more than 500 injured in a shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The shooting drew attention to the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act, or SHARE Act, which would make it easier to hunt and fish on federal land as well as reduce regulations on the purchase of suppressors.
Despite the "silencer" name, suppressors do not make gunshots silent. Even with a suppressor in place, an AR-15 rifle is roughly as loud as a jackhammer. Supporters say the bill is about protecting recreational gun users from hearing loss.
A senior Republican leadership aide disputed that the decision not to hold a vote had anything to do with the shooting.
“This package had unresolved issues within our conference prior to this week and was not scheduled for the floor prior to this incident. These Democrat narratives just aren’t true,” said the aide.
The debate over this bill was last postponed in June, after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise was shot after a gunman opened fire on a Republican practice for the Congressional baseball game in June. Scalise spent weeks in the hospital, and only returned to the Capitol last week.
Nash Jenkins contributed to this report.