Bump stocks gained national infamy after the 1 October shooting. The accessory makes rifles fire more rapidly, and was used in the Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre. As of today, they are banned across the country.
President Donald Trump said last year that the government would move to ban bump stocks. The action followed the 2017 shooting in Las Vegas in which a gunman attached bump stocks to assault-style rifles he used to shoot concertgoers. Fifty-eight people were killed, hundreds more were wounded.
The Justice Department gave owners 90 days to destroy bump stocks or turn them over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Anyone who refuses faces a felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
Nevada lawmakers are also considering a statewide ban, which would remain in place if courts overturn the federal ban. Democratic Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui is backing the bill. She and her husband were at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in October of 2017.
“I don’t ever want anybody to have to go through what I went through,“ said Jauregui. “Not just that day, but the weeks after. It’s also the families and friends of those affected.“
Jauregui insists the measure is not about taking guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens.
“This isn’t a gun grab,“ said Jauregui, who represents the 41st district, which includes parts of southern Clark County. “We’re not going out and taking people’s firearms and keeping track of who has firearms. This is just a measure of public safety so that we never have another 1 October here in Nevada.“
Heather Gooze was working as a bartender during the country music festival. She traveled to Washington, D.C. in 2018 to lobby for a bump stock ban.
“I feel like I made a change,“ said Gooze. “I feel like I was a part of this. If it wasn’t for Las Vegas shooting survivors standing up and saying ‘something needs to be done,’ this might not have happened.“
The ATF said you can drop of bump stocks at any of its field offices. The Las Vegas office is located at 8965 S. Eastern Ave. Owners can also destroy their bump stocks, but must do so with specific instructions from the ATF’s website.
Gun rights groups have asked the Supreme Court to stop the Trump administration from beginning to enforce its ban on bump stock devices. The groups asked the court Monday to block implementation of the ban. The Court did not step in, but could take up a case in the future.