How did Las Vegas shooter get his arsenal? Easily, and legally

Image Brian Sandoval

I awoke also to the news of the massacre in Las Vegas, where a gunman's rampage killed 58 innocent people and injured hundreds more.

Functionally, however, weapons experts say, the increasingly popular bump stock has allowed even novice gun-owners to easily modify a legal semiautomatic rifle into one that resembles a battlefield machine gun. Automatic weapons fire until the ammunition is used up; semi-automatic weapons require the trigger to be pulled for each shot.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the gunman appears to have used at least one fully automatic rifle and had between 18 and 20 weapons in his hotel room.

Congressional Republicans are considering a rare gun regulation in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, and conservative media is pushing back. Available online and in some stores, the trigger crank can be purchased for as little as $50.

In Nevada, where gun laws are particularly lax and enforcement more so, it would have been easy for Paddock to accumulate all the guns he had unnoticed.

A telephone message left Wednesday morning at Moran, Texas-based Slide Fire, which offers bump stocks, wasn't immediately returned.

"Individuals that suffer from severe arthritis, partial paralysis, or other conditions that affect their ability to traditionally operate a firearm can now utilize the SSAR-15 and the muscular strength in their entire arm to active the firing mechanism", the manufacturer said on its website.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., said Thursday that lawmakers will consider further rules for the devices, which allow legal semiautomatic rifles to fire as rapidly as more heavily restricted automatic weapons.

The Daily Caller, the right-leaning digital site founded by Tucker Carlson, hasn't outright endorsed bump stocks, but has taken to trolling gun control proponents and chastising outlets like CNN for their coverage of bump stocks. You go out to the desert out here, and you can shoot high speed and just have a good time with it.

Some lawmakers are pursuing a different approach to banning bump stocks that could preempt legislation.

"Let's wait", said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., who has repeatedly introduced bipartisan legislation to toughen background checks and expand them to all commercial firearm sales, including gun show and internet purchases. "But if we work together, we can stop shootings in the future", Durbin said.

Twenty-six of her Democratic colleagues are on board, but the measure has no formal Republican support. "I own a lot of guns and as a hunter and sportsman I think that's our right as Americans, but I don't understand the use of this bump stock and that's another reason to have a hearing". Jon Tester, D-Montana.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican, has not decided on the bill, said his spokesman, Emily Benavides.

In separate posts, the site wrote that host Chris Cuomo spread "fake news" about bump stocks and that host John Berman "flaunted his lack of firearm knowledge" by saying that the bump stock converts a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon.

We spoke with one local gun shop in Springdale that sold out of their bump stocks this week.

"It's for those guys who want to look like super ninja when they're out on the range - they're the people my peer group makes fun of", Vasquez, a former Marine, said Wednesday, returning from a firearm instruction course he conducted in SC.



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