More and more states are deciding to ban bump stocks, the device that allows a semi-automatic gun to fire more like an automatic weapon.
On Monday, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a Democratic-sponsored bill outlawing the devices. It’s also the same device that Stephen Paddock used on at least two of his guns before killing 58 people.
Art Netherton is the manager of Briarhawk Firearms and Ammunition, a family-owned gun shop about three miles from the strip. “It was started about 3 1/2 years ago by my daughter and son-in-law,” Netherton said. “I retired from a police department back in Illinois. They thought I needed something to do other than watching old re-runs of cop shows.”
Netherton said he wouldn’t be surprised if bump stocks were banned by the ATF. “There’s no real legitimate purpose for it,” he said. A public outcry from survivors of the 1 October shooting pushed legislators across the country to ban the devices.
“Nobody wants their mother, father, son, sister, aunt or uncle to be gunned down. There’s nobody in this world that’s okay with that,” said survivor Heather Gooze. Netherton called the devices unreliable and gimmicky. After the shooting, he received several phone calls from people asking to hear more about them.
“They made it clear that they wanted to go resell them online,” he said. “For a brief instance online, a $150 item was going for $500- $600.”
Netherton said it was insensitive. His store has never sold bump stocks and they don’t have any plans to. “We do not order them and we’re not interested in handling them.”
Here in Nevada, the future of the device is uncertain. Since October, legislators have gone back and forth whether to ban bump stocks in the state. Bump stocks were initially made for people with disabilities. According to the ATF, its intended to help a person whose hands have limited mobility to “bump-fire” an AR-15 type rifle.