KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Bump stocks, devices many people have never heard of, are now under scrutiny after Sunday night’s massacre in Las Vegas.
It’s a gun accessory that can allow semi-automatic firearms to mimic automatic ones. These legal devices attach to a rifle, enabling a shooter to unload a large magazine at a high speed, similar to an automatic weapon.
“They’re not illegal according to the ATF because it doesn’t meet the automatic description,” Robbie Paskiewicz, general manager of the Knoxville Gun Range, said. “It gives it a simulated automatic function. It increases the rate of fire and it can give people the idea that it’s a machine gun.”
An ATF official said they found 23 guns in the Las Vegas shooter’s hotel room; 12 of those firearms with bump stocks attached.
Though the accessories are technically legal, they are not widely sod. Paskiewicz said you will not find bump stocks on his shelves.
“Our concerns are as long as we are promoting guns in the most positive way possible,” he said, “by providing training and education, and safety, and not allowing what we consider questionable items for sale, here. They’re not illegal, but we have a personal preference and decided not to sell them.”
Paskiewicz went on to say that his store promotes firearm safety and responsible gun ownership, and there is not a need for bump stocks at his gun range.
“Because a bump stock is available legally and it’s not widely distributed might give you an answer as to how the responsible society of gun owners are, because most gun owners don’t want to do anything that’s questionable,” Paskiewicz said.
Phil Keith, a former Knoxville police chief, said most stores will not sell bump stocks because they have to notify the ATF if they were to sell one. He also said that most officers do not support these devices because the user is manipulating the weapon to operate it in a way that it was not designed to.
Keith also said that while he supports a person’s right to own guns, he does not personally support bump stocks or other forms of converter kits.