The National Rifle Association calls for additional regulations on bump fire stock, a device used by the Las Vegas shooter that allows a semi-automatic rifle to function like an automatic.
“Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law,” the NRA stated in an Oct. 5 release. “The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
The shooter, Stephen Paddock, 64, had many of his rifles outfitted with a bump fire stock device—a modified part that allows for rapid fire while dodging the laws banning automatic weapons.
That way, Paddock was able to fire hundreds of rounds in some 10 minutes from his 32nd floor hotel room, killing 59 and injuring over 450 at a crowded country music concert down below.
Semi-automatic rifles, which can be legally purchased in America, allow only one shot per firing.
The bump fire stock is a modified stock (the part of the gun set against the shoulder) that allows the shooter to press the trigger repeatedly at a high rate. It includes a grip that keeps the trigger finger at a static position. The shooter fires the gun by pushing the barrel forward, thus pressing the trigger against the static finger. As the round is fired, the recoil from the shot sends the body of the gun back, where it slides about an inch inside the modified stock. As the shooter keeps pushing the barrel forward, the gun slides out of the stock about one inch and the trigger is pressed against the finger again.
Multiple video demonstrations online show the bump fire stock can make a semi-automatic rifle achieve a rate of fire similar to an automatic.
At least manufacturer of bump fire stocks, Slide Fire, states on its website it submitted the part to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and had it approved.
The argument for the legality of bump fire stocks is that the rifle itself remains semi-automatic. The stock only helps the shooter press the trigger much faster.
The shooter also used 60 and 100-round magazines—some of the largest available.
Police said he had 22 rifles and a handgun in his hotel room. Another 19 guns were found in his Mesquite, Nevada, home.
The NRA warned against trying to disarm Americans at large based on the Las Vegas shooting.
“Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks,” it stated.
Police said Paddock shot himself in the room. His motive remains unclear. Police hope to get some answers from his girlfriend Marilou Danley, who was in the Philippines, her home country, during the shooting and returned to Los Angeles on Tuesday, Oct. 3.