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After it was revealed Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock's hotel room contained 12 bump stocks, lawmakers across the U.S. began drafting legislation that would ban the device from being purchased.

While the legislation, drafted by California lawmaker Dianne Feinstein (D), has already begun to gain favor among some of her GOP colleagues, the fact remains that many in the general public are ignorant of what a bump stock actually does.

In brief, a bump stock enables a semi-automatic weapon to fire at the rate of an automatic one. Replacing the standard stock — the part of the gun that rests on the user's shoulder — a bump stock allows the weapon to move back and forth more quickly.

Essentially, a bump stock allows the recoil of firing a weapon to be harnessed for the use of firing in rapid succession. The increase in speed often results in a reduction of accuracy. Bump stocks are also considered to be somewhat unsafe for the user.

While bump stocks are not illegal in the United States — even though they essentially convert a semi-automatic weapon to an automatic one — automatic weapons manufactured after May 19, 1986, are illegal to own. (You must have a license to own automatic weapons manufactured before that date.)

According to a Politico report, many firing ranges ban the use of bump stocks, including one range located at the National Rifle Association headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia.

In the days following what is being called the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, many retailers have pulled bump stocks from their online inventory, according to a recent report by The New York Times.

Of particular note is the fact that when the previous legislation was passed prohibiting the purchase of automatic weapons, bump stocks did not yet exist.

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker (R) said he would be unable to voice his opinion on any legislation concerning bump stocks until he learned how the devices work and “how that affects the law,” according to CNN.

As previously reported by IJR, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) appeared, similarly to Corker, to be ignorant of the hows and whys of bump stocks, saying the device is “certainly something that's got my attention, and I think we ought to get to the bottom of it.”

View Comments(4 comments)
I. Chin(2 likes)Bump stocks are the lazy person's excuse to burn more ammo ($$$), make more noise, and lose control in the same manner as those lazy thinkers who sling racist, homophobic, sexist around. It's a gimmick.See any Jerry Miculek video. He's on Youtube. From an everyday perspective practice aim, trigger-control, and reset. This takes time, work, and discipline. Even practiced users of full-auto guns use burst-control.The Bump Stock is a gimmick. Good for some to get giggles, but impractical. I, for one, won't miss it.
@rgcomegaAuthor didn't state his qualifications, but his defintions and wording are oblique to the point one could easily misinterpret and be factually mislead. A bump stock does not turn a semi-automatic rifle (where you must squeeze the triger each time to fire a round) into a fully automatic (where you hold the trigger back and rounds are fired until the magazine is empty or the trigger is released). Bump stock is a modification to the rifle, legal at this point in time, that is designed somewhere in between where the rate of fire is increased by "puling apart" the rifle, that is pressing forward on the gun while holding the trigger in which case more rounds can be expelled faster than a semi-automatic but less than a full automatic. Technical difference, yes, but important to recognize it is not an automatic weapon like in the military as some politicians and hollywood types would he us believe. In Las Vegas it was enough to do far more damage than a semi-automatic, and while I ardently support the 2nd Amendment, this conversion actually serves no useful purpose and should be regulated...caveat - as long at the political left doesn't get greedy and carried away with this as a doorway to abuse and shred the 2nd Amendment as they have with religion, marriage, sanctuary cities and other issues. In that case, I'll take my chances with bunp stock. 
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