West Michigan lawmakers support re-evaluation of bump stocks
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - In the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, congressional lawmakers on both sides say they're open to banning bump stocks.
The device is what shooter Stephen Paddock used so he could shoot faster. The bump stock Paddock used allowed his semi-automatic gun to shoot like a fully automatic gun. Paddock killed 58 people and injured more than
500 before taking his own life.
Gun shop owner Joel Fulton knows all about them.
"Basically what they do is use the inertia of the recoil to force the finger to hit the trigger again and again repeatedly probably faster than I could squeeze my trigger myself,” says Fulton, owner of Freedom Firearms in Battle Creek.
While Fulton’s store sells bump stocks, Fulton says they don’t sell well because they’re expensive to operate in this manner.
“A year ago we had so many in stock, not only here but my distributors did, they were practically giving them away because they couldn't sell,” says Fulton.
Pretty soon, bump stocks may not be on sale at all.
Congressional Republicans are urging The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to re-evaluate bump stocks.
West Michigan’s Fred Upton tweeting Thursday that he supports this move.
“I don't think it changes anything,” says Fulton. “I think they (mass murderers) find different instruments to do it with."
Fulton also says banning bump stocks could lead to a slippery slope.
"It has the potential to drive sales if they try and ban something and then people are afraid,” said Fulton. “What's next,” he adds
Newschannel 3 reached out to West Michigan’s congressional delegation to get their take on bump stocks. Here are the responses we received:
Statement from Senator Gary Peters (D)
“I was horrified by the tragedy in Las Vegas, and my heart goes out to the victims, their families and the entire community. It’s apparent that the bump stock used in this shooting made the attack more deadly, and I think this is an issue that Congress needs to take a very close look at. I will carefully consider any legislation that comes before the Senate on this issue.”
Statement from Rep. Fred Upton (R)
“In the wake of the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas it’s clear that we cannot with a straight face justify the legality of these tools that can so easily be manipulated to do unimaginable harm and are specifically designed to get around the automatic weapon ban.
“There is no place for them in a civil society. None.
“I am currently working with other members of Congress who share my concerns on a letter to the ATF. It is my hope that after a thorough examination, the ATF will agree with us and conclude these mechanisms violate the law and will be banned.
“It is our responsibility to look at what happened in Las Vegas and find ways to take action. This is a step we can and should take. I’m proud to stand up and push this common-sense effort to ban bump-stocks.”
Statement from Rep. Bill Huizenga (R)
“As an avid sportsman, I believe in a strong and robust defense of the Second Amendment. However, fully-automatic weapons have been banned with little exception since 1986. Equipment that modifies legal firearms to the point where their rate of fire becomes synonymous with fully automatic weapons needs to be examined. I believe a discussion on bump stocks is appropriate.”
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) says she supports the ban of bump stocks. Newschannel 3 has reached out to Rep. Justin Amash (R) but has not heard back yet.