Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

Placeholder Image

[AP/Allen G. Breed]

Popular Bump Stock Maker Resumes Sales a Month After the Las Vegas Shooting

Slide Fire Solutions, a leading manufacturer of gun bump stocks, told would-be customers on Tuesday that it is resuming sales of the devices through a limited release of the products.

The announcement comes one month after a gunman in Las Vegas used rifles equipped with bump stocks, which allow a semiautomatic rifle to fire more than 500 rounds per minute, to kill 58 people in the worst mass shooting in modern American history.

In an email promotion, Slide Fire said a limited quantity of two bump stock models would be available for purchase on Wednesday afternoon. The bump stocks are designed to work with AR-15-style rifles, and retail for as little as $179.95.

“We would like to take the time to thank all of our customers for their patience and support throughout this past month!” the promotion reads.

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, Slide Fire stopped selling bump stocks because it ran out of inventory. Several major retailers, including Cabela’s and Wal-Mart, pulled the products amid calls for banning them. With supplies suddenly scarce, prices on gun auction sites doubled as gun owners sought to add to their collections an item they feared might soon be outlawed.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the federal agency that regulates firearms, classifies bump stocks as accessories. While a handful of states have laws that ban devices designed to increase a weapon’s rate of fire, bump stocks are largely not subject to regulation, and are available for purchase without a background check.

Three days after the Las Vegas massacre, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California introduced a bill that would ban bump stocks outright. Several powerful Republicans on Capitol Hill signaled openness to such a move. The following day, the National Rifle Association said in a statement that bump stocks should be subject to “additional regulations” — but stopped short of supporting a legislative fix. Instead, the gun group’s top brass put the responsibility on the shoulders of the ATF.

The ATF, however, has determined that only Congress has the authority to impose further regulations on bump stocks. On October 14, a group of current and former agency employees penned an open letter to lawmakers, pressing that argument. “We would like to clarify this confusing issue to protect honorable ATF employees from false allegations that they chose to make this item legal when it was the law that prohibited them from regulating the item,” it reads.

Neither Feinstein’s bill, nor other similar bump stock bans introduced in Congress, have advanced past the proposal phase, despite multiple polls indicating strong public support for curbing access to the devices. In an interview last week with a gun Youtuber notorious for threatening public officials, the NRA’s top lobbyist, Chris Cox, claimed that the NRA’s efforts had directly contributed to diffusing momentum for a bump stock ban..

Earlier this week, a bipartisan group of four lawmakers introduced an alternative fix. The new bill would subject bump stocks to the National Firearms Act, the landmark 1934 law  that regulates fully automatic weapons, suppressors, short-barreled shotguns, and a handful of other specialty firearms and accessories. If the bill passes, it will require prospective buyers of bump stocks to undergo a background check, pay a $200 tax stamp, and register the devices with the ATF.

“We will be sending further notifications as more products become available,” the Slide Fire promotion reads. “Keep in mind that inventory is limited, and items may be removed or added to the website as necessary.”