'Bump stocks' make the spotlight despite unpopularity in gun community

For anyone who's seen and heard any video footage of the Las Vegas mass shooting, one of the most chilling parts of the horrifying moments is the sound.

The gunman was able to unleash a fury of gunfire so quickly, it almost mimicked the sound of a flying helicopter. Officials believe Paddock had altered his legal semiautomatic rifles using "bump fire stocks", also known as "bump stocks", which allow a weapon to shoot hundreds of rounds per minute.

This is why the sound of the shots being fired sounded like a fully automatic weapon.

A bump stock can be attached to a semiautomatic rifle, such as an AR-15, and replace the regular stock. A bump stock essentially is a spring, which operates similar to shocks on a car. When unlocked, the springs release and recoil using the kickback- or the "bump"- the shooter feels while firing allowing the stock to easily slide back and forth while the gun is fired.

Bump stocks are fully legal under federal law. The devices are widely available online, on websites such as Slide Fire, and in stores in states where they are legal to sell.

A bump stocks by itself is not illegal to have in California. However, under recently passed laws, the piece is considered a pistol grip, one of the so-called "evil features" which is now banned.

Assault weapons are generally banned in California and a firearm with an attached bump stock would fall into the assault weapon category.

After it was revealed Paddock likely used bump stocks during the massacre, the NRA and Trump Administration both said they were open to the idea of regulating the pieces.

While the bump stock is making its headline rounds and clearly has the potential to do unspeakable harm, the piece isn't very popular in the gun community.

ABC10 spoke to several local gun shops to find out if bump stocks are sold in the Sacramento area and how often the pieces are used by owners of firearms.

In short, bump stocks are not sold at the majority of gun stores in the region. In fact, all the local gun shop owners who talked to ABC10 said they haven't heard of any gun store that carries the devices.

Nick, the owner of Sacramento Armory on Greenback Lane, said bump stocks add negative attention to gun owners who already have to follow strict California laws. The dangerous potential of the device also creates a liability issue many gun shop owners don't want to be responsible for, according to Nick.

He told ABC10, bump stocks are not embraced by the gun community because they are not accurate and burn through ammunition. Nick said, if he did sell bump shocks, he'd maybe get one person a year who would come in to buy one.

Christopher Lapinski, operations manager at Last Stand Readiness & Tactical Retail Store on Florin Road, mirrored Nick's stance on bump stocks.

He also said the piece wasn't popular amongst gun owners and called it a novelty- and also- a "piece of junk". Lapinski said he bump stocks don't serve any real purpose to gun owners. 

It should also be noted, bump stocks are not allowed at gun ranges in California, limiting anyone wanting to use a bump stock to private property.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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