The gunman in the horrific Las Vegas attack this past weekend had a total of 47 firearms at the hotel room, and at his home in Nevada. Several of the weapons were able to be fired in fully-automatic mode (which he did), and several of them had a cosmetic feature known as a bump-stock.
The bump-stock is a device that allows a user to harness the firearm’s recoil to depress the trigger more quickly, and thus obtain a higher rate of fire. However, it is still not a fully automatic weapon, even if equipped with this kind of stock, because a full depression of the trigger is still required to fire off a round, and only one round can be fired per trigger press.
The bump-stock is not a very common device, as only a few companies actually manufacture it. During the first couple of years of its existence, there were questions as to the stock’s legality, if it was a device that de facto made a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic firearm.
However, back in 2010, President Obama’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives issued a statement saying that the stock was legal and did not constitute an illegal modification, according to CNS News.
A company called Slide Fire had earlier sent its patented replacement shoulder stock to ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch, asking for an evaluation of the device.
The ATF, in reply, wrote: “Your letter advises that the stock (referenced in this reply as a ‘bump stock’) is intended to assist persons whose hands have limited mobility to ‘bump fire’ an AR-15 type rifle.”
The device replaces the factory stock and grip. The replacement stock moves back and forth with the gun’s recoil, allowing it to fire rapidly and continuously as the trigger repeatedly is bumped into the shooter’s finger. A switch allows the user to select semi-automatic fire (one shot for each trigger pull) or the more rapid “bump fire.”
According to the ATF’s June 2010 letter: “The stock has no automatically functioning mechanical parts or springs and performs no automatic mechanical function when installed. In order to use the device, the shooter must apply constant forward pressure with the non-shooting hands and constant rearward pressure with the shooting hand. Accordingly, we find that the ‘bump stock’ is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm under the Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act.”
Slide Fire maintains a copy of the dated letter on their website, proving the fact that this part is not illegal.
A BATFE agent told CBS news that a total of 12 of the firearms in the hotel room at Mandalay Bay Casino were equipped with bump-stocks. Senator Dianne Feinstein, incessant opponent of the right to bear arms, plans to introduce legislation to close the “automatic weapon loophole.”
Of course, that term should be taken with a mine of salt. This “loophole” is one that she created herself by manipulating and pulling the strings and changing the meaning of words. There is no “automatic weapons loophole,” it’s simply untrue and is fear-mongering, Statist garbage.
Just about everything that the shooter did was a high level felony. Possession of automatic weapons made after 1986 is illegal, and possessing anything made before 1986 is very difficult, with mountains of paperwork, invasive background checks, and registration requirements, not to mention the insanely high cost of any select-fire gun at any FFL dealer, upwards of $20,000 in many cases.
But contrary to the many sophistic ramblings of the gun-grabbers, a bump-stock is NOT a fully automatic weapon; not even close. The claim that it is a part of a “loophole” is a blatantly disingenuous idea that displays willful ignorance of how firearms operate.
Let that not deter the woman who aimed an AK rifle at the audience in a press conference with a magazine inserted AND finger inside the trigger guard…
…But that’s none of my business.