Las Vegas mass shooting is 'a reflection of relaxed gun laws' in the US

At least 50 people killed and hundreds injured when man opened fire on concertgoers on 1 October.

Las Vegas shooter named as 64-year-old Steven PaddockLas Vegas Metropolitan Police

The mass shooting that took place in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a reflection of the "relaxed gun laws" in the US, a security analyst has told IBTimes UK.

At least 50 people were killed and hundreds more injured when a man, identified as 64-year-old Stephen C Paddock, opened fire on a crowd during the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on Sunday 1 October.

Witnesses said they sought shelter after hearing "machine gun fire" that sounded like "fireworks".

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The suspect opened fire from the Mandalay Bay hotel, across the street from the site of the festival, before being located by police who found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters that police had located "numerous firearms" in Paddock's hotel room.

"Attacks are becoming more rampant and taking the tactical shape of the country's that they happen in," David Otto, who is also a counter-terrorism expert, said. "The use of a powerful machine gun in this incident is a reflection of the relaxed gun laws in the US"

Police believe Paddock acted alone. The motive behind the attack is not clear yet.

"The amount of recorded casualties and injuries and the manner of the attack with an automatic rifle shows that the individual had some high degree of planning and preparation. He may have trained for this attack or perhaps received training on how to carry out such an attack in a crowded place," Otto continued.

"There is correlation between the choice of tactics and the nature of policing when it comes to how terrorist carry out their attacks."

People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after gunfire was heardDavid Becker/Getty Images

The Second Amendment of the US Consitution guarantees citizens "the right to keep and bear arms". Federal laws set minimum standards for gun regulation, but individual states can implement their own laws.

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Some restrictions were imposed with the introduction of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban. It was part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which expired in 2004 and was not renewed.

Gun laws in Nevada

It is believed that Nevada has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the US.

People do not need a permit to purchase and posses "a rifle, shotgun or handgun", according to the National Rifle Association (NRA), an NGO that advocates for gun rights.

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State laws do not prevent people from carrying firearms openly, but "one should exercise caution".

It is legal to carry arms in bars, restaurant and casinos, but not government buildings, according to carrynevada.org.

Non Profit Organisation Everytown for Gun Safety said an average of 93 Americans are killed by guns in the US every day and the rate of gun homicide is 25 times higher than in any other "developed country".

The Las Vegas attack is believed to be the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, surpassing the death toll of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, last June. Forty-nine people were killed and dozens injured when 29-year-old security guard Omar Mateen opened fire in the club.

US President Donald Trump offer his condolences to the families of the victims of the latest shooting via a statement on Twitter. "My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!" the president said.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who ran against Trump in the 2016 presidential election, called for tougher gun laws.

"Our grief isn't enough. We can and must put politics aside, stand up to the NRA, and work together to try to stop this from happening again," she said in a 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," she added.

The Congress is considering a law that could relax restrictions on the purchase of silencers. The provision is part of a wider bill know as the Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act.

Backers of the laws argue that silencers are used by hunters and target shooters. Critics claim they could hinder police's efforts to locate shooters during an attack.

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