The deadly Las Vegas shooting brought to light the use of a device called a "bump stock,” which allows a semiautomatic rifle to mimic a fully automatic one. Critics say that the device disregards current federal restrictions on automatic guns, but a gun store owner in Bastrop disagrees. Watch Crosshairs Texas' Troy Michelin demonstrate how a bump stock is installed and operated. AP
The deadly Las Vegas shooting brought to light the use of a device called a "bump stock,” which allows a semiautomatic rifle to mimic a fully automatic one. Critics say that the device disregards current federal restrictions on automatic guns, but a gun store owner in Bastrop disagrees. Watch Crosshairs Texas' Troy Michelin demonstrate how a bump stock is installed and operated. AP

Texas

West Texas company makes ‘bump stocks’ - but for how long?

October 06, 2017 11:24 AM

UPDATED October 06, 2017 05:13 PM

The West Texas maker of bump stocks has temporarily suspended taking new orders while it fills those that have already been placed. The device was used by the Las Vegas shooter to make his rifle fire like an automatic weapon.

Some gun sellers told CNNMoney that customers are rushing to buy the accessories out of fear of tighter gun controls after Sunday’s massacre. The devices allow a semiautomatic rifle to fire hundreds of rounds per minute.

But some retailers have pulled the $150-$300 accessory from websites.

The gunman in Las Vegas, Stephen Paddock, outfitted 12 of the rifles he had in his suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino with bump stocks. He managed to kill 58 concert-goers from his 32nd-floor perch. Almost 500 were injured.

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On Thursday, the National Rifle Association joined the Trump administration and top congressional Republicans in seeking to regulate bump stocks.

Jeremiah Cottle, the owner of Slide Fire Solutions in Moran, Texas, which manufactures the device, has come under a barrage of criticism since the Las Vegas shootings. Moran is about 125 miles west of Fort Worth near Abilene.

A note on the company’s website Friday said, “We have decided to temporarily suspend taking new orders in order to provide the best service with those already placed.” It asks customers to sign up to be notified when the accessories become available.

Cottle told the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that his device was intended for people with limited use of their hands. He told The Albany News in 2011 that he was out shooting with a friend one day and “we weren’t able to fire as fast as we wanted. We couldn’t afford what we wanted – a fully automatic rifle – so I started to think about how I could make something that would work and be affordable.”

He’s been selling bump stocks since 2010.

Cottle has declined to talk about the tragedy in Las Vegas, but told The Dallas Morning News on Thursday that if his business was forced to close down, “it would hurt the whole town, the school. We pay a very large amount of property taxes. I’m one of the largest businesses in Shackelford County.”

Tom Uhler: 817-390-7832, @tomuh

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