NRA doesn’t allow Vegas shooter-style ‘bump stocks’ at its own gun range
The National Rifle Association (NRA)’s firing range at its Virginia headquarters does not allow the use of weapons outfitted with “bump stock” modifications — the type of device used by Las Vegas mass murderer Stephen Paddock to kill 59 people and injure nearly 10 times as many, Politico said on Thursday.
Sources familiar with the NRA’s Fairfax, VA headquarters say that bump stocks are banned at the campus firing range, where members socialize and hold target practice sessions. Politico said that the organization declined to comment.
A bump stock uses a semi-automatic rifle’s recoil to pull the weapon’s trigger faster than a human finger is capable of firing, making a legal weapon fire like an illegal machine gun. Experts say that bump stocks decrease a weapon’s accuracy, wrote Politico’s Lorraine Woellert, and make it more dangerous to use.
Accuracy was not high on Paddock’s list of priorities Sunday night as he indiscriminately opened fire on 22,000 concert-goers at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The killer had 47 weapons and multiple high-capacity ammunition clips in the hotel room where he took his life as police closed in.
In the wake of the massacre, the national NRA is attempting to distance itself from bump stocks, but indicated that it will still fight any ban on semi-automatic weapons, saying banning military-style weapons “will do nothing to prevent future attacks.”
This is demonstrably false, as New York Times columnist Bret Stephens said in his call to repeal the Second Amendment on Thursday.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) allowed the legal sale of bump stocks in the U.S. in 2010, but now the NRA is coming out against them.
“Devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,” said the lobbying organization in a statement. “Despite the fact that the Obama administration approved the sale of bump fire stocks on at least two occasions, the National Rifle Association is calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) to immediately review whether these devices comply with federal law.”
Slide Fire Solution, the company that manufactured the bump stocks used by Paddock — and marketed them as “FREEDOM UNLEASHED” to buyers — has agreed to stop producing them.