Victims of the Las Vegas shooting sued manufacturers of bump fire stocks, accusing them of negligence. A dozen bump stocks, which allow a semi-automatic weapon to fire with the rapidity of an automatic weapon, were found in gunman Stephen Paddock’s 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay Resort hotel room. The attack targeted the Route 91 Harvest festival and left nearly 60 dead and some 500 wounded.
Filed in Clark County District Court, the complaint, which seeks class action status, alleges that Slide Fire Solutions Inc., a bump stock manufacturer, and other unidentified manufacturers and retailers behaved negligently in selling and producing these devices.
“This horrific assault did not occur, could not occur, and would not have occurred with a conventional handgun, rifle, or shotgun, of the sort used by law-abiding responsible gun owners for hunting or self-defense,” the complaint states.
Slide Fire didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has determined in at least two separate instances that bump stocks are legal under existing federal statutes. The classification depends on whether “they mechanically alter the function of the firearm to fire fully automatic,” said Jill A. Snyder, ATF special agent in charge, during a press conference last week. “Bump fire stocks, while simulating automatic fire, do not actually alter the firearm to fire automatically, making them legal under current federal law.”
Rather than using a mechanism to cause the repeated firing, the stocks use recoil to increase the rate of fire. “The user generates a forward activation force” so that “the trigger collides with the stabilized finger, stimulating the first round of ammunition in the receiver,” Slide Fire’s the website says. “A recoil force from the discharging ammunition pushes the firing unit rearwardly so that the trigger separates from the stabilized finger.”
The National Rifle Association has said that “devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”
The group, which opposes gun control regulation, didn’t immediately respond to request for comment on the lawsuit.
Copyright 2017 Bloomberg.