* This story has been going around all day, but the Tribune confirmed it…
Stephen Paddock, the gunman who fatally shot 58 people and wounded nearly 500 in Las Vegas Sunday night, rented two rooms in August at Chicago’s Blackstone Hotel overlooking the Lollapalooza music festival in Grant Park, according to a law enforcement source.
Paddock reserved the rooms on the park side of the hotel with a clear view of the outdoor festival, but he never showed up, according to the source, who asked for anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to publicly disclose the details.
The dates of the reservations covered the four-day event, which drew hundreds of thousands of music fans, including former President Barack Obama’s daughters Malia and Sasha, as well as Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The Blackstone, in a statement, said a Stephen Paddock reserved rooms at the hotel but no one by that name stayed there.
* NY Times…
The National Rifle Association on Thursday endorsed tighter restrictions on devices that allow a rifle to fire bullets as fast as a machine gun — a rare, if small, step for a group that for years has vehemently opposed any new gun controls.
Twelve of the rifles the Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock, had in a high-rise hotel suite when he opened fire on a crowd on Sunday were outfitted with “bump stocks,” devices that allow a semiautomatic rifle to fire hundreds of rounds per minute, which may explain how he was able to shoot so quickly, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds of others. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has ruled that bump stocks do not violate laws that tightly limit ownership of machine guns, and some lawmakers have called for them to be banned.
The bureau should revisit the issue and “immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law,” the N.R.A. said in a statement released Thursday. “The N.R.A. believes that devices designed to allow semiautomatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
* The Question: Should “bump stocks” be banned in Illinois? Click here to take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.