/Bump stocks, which allow rifles to mimic automatic weapons, are now illegal to own, buy or sell

Bump stocks, which allow rifles to mimic automatic weapons, are now illegal to own, buy or sell


Gun owner Steven Straub demonstrates the difference between shooting an AR-15 without a bump stock and shooting an AR-15 with a bump stock.
Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel

Owning, buying, selling, or otherwise transferring a bump stock, a type of gun stock that uses a weapon’s recoil to enable it to fire more rapidly, will become illegal Tuesday, when a federal ban goes into effect. 

The stocks essentially turn a semi-automatic weapon into a machine gun by bouncing the trigger against a shooter’s finger, allowing some models to fire between 400 and 500 rounds per minute.

Bump stock role in deadliest mass shooting

The gunman responsible for the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history used such a stock to fire more than 1,100 rounds onto a crowd from his Mandalay Bay hotel suite in Las Vegas in 2017.

Fifty-nine people died and 851 were injured as a result.

Less than a week after the deadly shooting, Tennessee gun store owners reported an increase in customers looking to buy bump stocks, apparently fearing a ban against the devices.

More: Tennessee gun retailers: Never much demand for bump stocks – until now

Survivors sued the bump stock manufacturer, Slide Fire Solutions, alleging negligence and a deliberate attempt to evade that the device was a deliberate attempt to skirt regulations on automatic weapons.

The case was dismissed in September 2018, but by that point, the Department of Justice was already moving to ban the devices and announced the final rule in December. 

The blanket regulation absolutely prohibits the devices, whether purchased before the ban or not. 

Turn them in at Knoxville ATF office

Residents in possession of bump stocks must either destroy or turn them in to the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms field office at 710 Locust St., Suite 514 in downtown Knoxville.  

More: Second Amendment supporter and Tennessee resident destroys AR-15 bump stock, calls for it to be outlawed

Opinion: There’s no way bump stocks can be defended

To destroy the devices, crushing, melting or shredding bump stocks is permitted, so is cutting them into pieces provided the devices are completely severed in areas constituting critical design failure. 

Specific guidelines and methods to safely sever various bump stock models are available on ATF’s website.

ATF: How to destroy a bump stock

Failure to destroy or turn in a bump stock will result in felony charges, the ATF said, adding state laws permitting the devices do not outweigh the federal regulation against them. 

Bump stock owners will not be compensated for destroyed or forfeited bump stocks. 


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