Las Vegas gunman had 'bump-stock' device that could speed up fire

2017-10-03 07:07
People hug and cry outside the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (AFP)

People hug and cry outside the Thomas & Mack Center after a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on October 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Las Vegas - The gunman who unleashed hundreds of rounds of gunfire on a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas had two "bump-stocks" that could have converted semi-automatic firearms into fully automatic ones, officials said.

Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock had 23 guns in his hotel room and killed 59 people and wounded hundreds more at a country music festival near his hotel.

The "bump-stocks" have attracted scrutiny in recent years from authorities.

AS IT HAPPENED: Putin says Vegas shooting is 'shocking in its cruelty'

California Senator Dianne Feinstein has long railed against them. Several years ago, she told The Associated Press she was concerned about the emergence of new technologies that could retrofit firearms to make them fully automatic.

"This replacement shoulder stock turns a semi-automatic rifle into a weapon that can fire at a rate of 400 to 800 rounds per minute," she said.

Design retrofits

A semi-automatic weapon requires one trigger pull for each round fired. With a fully automatic firearm, one trigger pull can unleash continuous rounds until the magazine is empty.

The purchasing of fully automatic weapons has been significantly restricted in the US since the 1930s.

In 1986, the federal National Firearms Act was amended further to prohibit the transfer or possession of machine guns by civilians, with an exception for those previously manufactured and registered.

Numerous attempts to design retrofits failed until recent years when bump stocks came on the market.

The device basically replaces the gun's shoulder rest, with a "support step" that covers the trigger opening.

By holding the pistol grip with one hand and pushing forward on the barrel with the other, the shooter's finger comes in contact with the trigger. The recoil causes the gun to buck back and forth, "bumping" the trigger.

Technically, that means the finger is pulling the trigger for each round fired, keeping the weapon a legal semi-automatic.

Two officials familiar with the investigation told the AP that Paddock had two bump stocks.

They are investigating whether those stocks were used to modify weapons used in the massacre, according to the officials, who were briefed by law enforcement and spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still unfolding.

Police stormed his 32nd floor hotel room and found that he had killed himself after committing the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

News24 (@News24) | Twitter

The latest Tweets from News24 (@News24). News24 is Southern Africa and Africa's premier online news resource reaching over 2.3 million local users each month. South Africa

Read more on:    us  |  us shootings

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.