MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Investigators said Stephen Paddock carried 23 of guns inside his Mandalay Bay hotel room, many of which were purchased legally. They also believe Paddock bought a bump stock to speed up the discharge.
WMC Action News 5 Investigator Kendall Kirkham explains why buying a bump stock, which simulates fully-automatic fire on a semi-automatic weapon, is not illegal.
"[It] replaces the existing stock and pistol grip with an assembly that allows everything to slide forward and back on the new stock assembly," Chance Blasdel, manager at Classic Arms of Memphis, said. "As you pull forward, you pull the gun into the trigger, bang. The gun recoils, pull forward again, bang, bang, bang."
Blasdel said bump stocks are legal because they don't actually modify the gun internally.
"The trigger is still pulled one time for each round fired," Blasdel said.
The attachments allow someone to fire faster, and are largely used as a novelty.
"It's a way to have fun on the target range, You'll see a lot of videos of people shooting them at close range targets, long range targets," he explained.
Some lawmakers spoke out against such devices. Congressman Steve Cohen said he would support legislation that would make bump stocks illegal.
"There's no reason why that should be legal. You shouldn't have automatic weapons, in my opinion, anyway. You shouldn't have high capacity magazines," Cohen said. "I've got a gun in my home. I have a pistol and I've got a permit, but there's a limit to what you need to defend yourself."
Blasdel said bump-stocks have dwindled in popularity because it is difficult to get an accurate shot, but they are still on the market.