I’ve never even heard the phrase “bump stock” until Washington Democrats started screaming about the firearm accessory in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting.
While party politicians ranging from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) to Sen. Bernie Sanders (Dem Soc-NH) have been hyperventilating for legislation to ensure bump stocks will never be sold to the general public, the same partisan politicos certainly seem to have come down with collective cases of amnesia.
As reported by Awr Hawkins of the Breitbart.com news portal, it was actually the Barack Obama Administration that authorized that particular piece of equipment back in 2010;
While bump stocks are taking criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike, it is interesting to note that the devices were approved for sale in 2010 by Barack Obama’s ATF.
The ATF approved the devices because they do not convert a semiautomatic rifle into an automatic. Rather, they are an accessory that allows semiautomatic rifle owners to mimic automatic fire for short bursts.
According to the Washington Post, Rick Vasquez, the ATF official who signed off on non-regulation for bump stocks, described them as “a goofy, little doodad.” This squares with the Breitbart News report that bump stocks “are for novelty, not accuracy.” They are devices that allow bursts of rapid fire but are unpredictable because the gun’s buffer tube can bounce around or bobble inside the device, making jams and inconsistent fire patterns likely.
Vasquez, a former Marine, put is this way: “[Bump stocks are] for those guys who want to look like super ninja when they’re out on the range — they’re the people my peer group makes fun of. If you want a machine gun, join the Marines.”
Lost in Vasquez’s humor is the fact that not everyone will join the Marines and very few people can afford their own machine gun, with prices starting at roughly $15,000. So a bump stock is a $200 substitute that allows cash-strapped citizens to mimic real machine guns on the cheap.
But bump-stocks may be facing an uphill battle, as Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is calling for a ban on the devices and numerous GOP Senators–including John Cornyn and John Thune–admit unfamiliarity with the devices yet still express openness to a hearing on a ban. Moreover, Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) made clear his belief that “typical gun owners” do not need bump stock devices.
As seen in the video below, the bump stock mimics the rapid fire capability of an automatic weapon by using an automatic’s own kinetic energy caused by the round’s primer expliding coupled with the weapon’s recoil on the buffer spring.
As noted by the non-partisan Popular Mechanics magazine;
Bump stocks are simple pieces of equipment that replace the stock of a rifle and add a small “support step” in front of the trigger. The shooter rests his finger on this step and pulls forward on the barrel or forward grip to press the trigger against his finger. The recoil of the shot then propels the rifle backwards into a gap in stationary stock where the loose fit gives the rifle freedom to bounce forward. This, along with sustained forward pressure on the rifle, has the effect of ‘bumping’ the trigger back into the shooter’s unmoving finger. So long as a shooter maintains forward pressure, the rifle will continue to fire at a rate much faster than could be accomplished with even the quickest possible series of manual trigger pulls.
I will be cosponsoring legislation unveiled today that will ban ‘bump stocks.’ https://t.co/z6XgdJu3ls
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) October 4, 2017
Bump fire stock in action.