Bump stocks are now legally dead. The Trump administration has now made it illegal to sell or even possess the controversial gun attachments.
What is a Bump Stock?
Depending on what type of rifle that a person is shooting, a bump stock can help a shooter achieve a firing speed of a minimum of 400 rounds per minute. A bump stock was used in the 2017 massacre in Las Vegas when 58 people were murdered and injuring 851 others. It is estimated that more than 1,100 rounds were fired at the scene by a lone gunman.
How They Work
Bump stocks operate to make a semi-automatic rifle into something resembling a machine gun. They replace the rifle’s standard stock which is the part of the rifle that is held against the shoulder. According to the New York Times, when shooting a semi-automatic rifle, the shooter pulls the trigger once for each shot fired. When a bump stock is used, the shooter pulls the trigger and leaves the trigger finger stationary. The recoil action that results from firing a shot allows the rifle to slide back and forth in an instant against the shooter’s shoulder and trigger finger until such time as the ammunition in the rifle’s magazine is empty. Then, another magazine can be affixed to the rifle quickly.
President Trump is circumventing any legislative effort at making possession of bump stocks illegal. The new regulation is being promulgated by the U.S. Department of Justice. Even the National Rifle Association is in agreement with the elimination of bump stocks, but Gun Owners of American says that it will be seeking an injunction against the new regulation. Its position is that the Department of Justice is attempting to re-write existing laws, and that will result in similar regulation of other weapons and accessories. The Department of Justice advised that it was prepared for any such lawsuit and confident of the outcome. One bump stock manufacturer has already notified the public that it has stopped direct sales of the accessories. Another leading manufacturer did not comment on the regulation. Prior to the new regulation, bump stocks were perfectly legal to own on the rationale that they did not make a weapon fire automatically.