AUSTIN (KXAN) — More and more people are purchasing “bump-stock” accessories for their weapons following the deadly Las Vegas shooting, at least according to one Central Texas gun store owner. The shooting left 59 people dead and more than 500 people injured.
As more details have emerged about the types of weapons the shooter Stephen Paddock had in his hotel room, it is clear he used “bump stocks” on semi-automatic rifles. Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that federal officials said Paddock had the devices attached to 12 of the 23 weapons in his hotel room. These legal modifications give semi-automatic rifles a power that is similar to to an automatic rifle.
Images of some of these weapons also show the bump stocks.
Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works, said that the day after the shooting, his store sold out of bump stocks completely. To his understanding, many other stores around the country have as well.
“A lot of people are just not aware of that and whenever an incident like this happens, these products people are aware of and then they sell out,” Cargill said.
He explained that the bump stocks allow the momentum from the gun discharging to help the shooter to pull the trigger faster.
Most of the weapons in Cargill’s shop are semi-automatic. If someone wants to purchase them, they pick out the gun they want, the salesperson will brief them on the weapon, they fill out a 4473 form, and undergo an FBI background check. If they pass, they can walk out with a gun in five to ten minutes. But if the FBI says to delay they may have to wait a few more business days and if the FBI says deny, the person will walk out without a gun.
The advantage of adding a bump stock to a semi-automatic is that you avoid the process that comes with buying an automatic weapon, Cargill said.
He explained that in order to buy an automatic weapon, you have to pay $200, have your photo and fingerprints taken, undergo an additional background check, wait for six to twelve months, and be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
Craig Stoehlien of Austin was in Cargill’s shop Thursday purchasing a rifle. He said he finds shooting with bump shots fun.
“It’s a lot quicker, it kind of imitates a fully automatic but it’s not an automatic,” Stoehlien said.
Stoehlien is legally blind, but has made a hobby out of building and shooting guns because the likes the feel of them. He will go out with friends and shoot at targets when he uses bump shots.
People who are legally blind can purchase a gun, though it is unlikely that they would be able to pass a license to carry exam which has a shooting proficiency test, Cargill said.
“People’s primary reason for getting something like that is for fun,” Cargill explained of the bump stocks. “For example I want to get a Porsche knowing that the speed limit is 65 or 70 miles per hour, and I want that vehicle to go 150, 180, 220, 225, even though it’s not legal for me to do that. It’s that kind of thing.”
Cargill added that the Las Vegas shooting has boosted all of his sales including bitcoin sales and license to carry classes.