MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A national ban on bump stocks – attachments that essentially allow shooters to fire semi-automatic rifles continuously with one pull of the trigger – goes into effect at midnight.
Mid-Southerners have just a few more hours to turn in their bump stocks or destroy them.
Bump stock owners were given 90 days to turn in or destroy the devices. Time's up on Tuesday.
It was designed to mimic the continuous fire of an automatic gun but starting Tuesday bump stocks will be illegal.
“They were given 90 days to abandon the property,” said Benny Allen, Resident Agent in Charge at the Memphis ATF office. “Tomorrow is the effective date that it will become illegal to possess the bump stocks.”
The weapon modification came under scrutiny following the October 2017 massacre in Las Vegas when shooter Stephen Paddock opened fire from his hotel onto concertgoers using rifles fitted with bump stocks.
“After 2017 congress began to look at the definition of a machine gun,” Allen said. “The bump stock, when it was originally manufactured, did not fall into that definition.”
The Justice Department estimates roughly 520,000 devices were sold in the country. Mid-South gun stores said few were sold at their stores.
“The bump stock ban is a knee jerk reaction to what happened in Las Vegas, which was a tragedy,” said Chip Holland, VP of training and education at Range USA. “But it’s still, that’s not a fix for something like that.”
Anyone in possession of a bump stock starting Tuesday faces prosecution if they are caught.
“ATF would really like for anybody who has or who is in possession to go ahead in do the right thing,” Allen said. “Let’s get these turned in.”
Step-by-step instructions are also posted on the ATF website on how owners can destroy these devices at home.
ATF says prosecution of violators will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but anyone in possession of a bump stock can still contact their local ATF office or law enforcement agency to surrender the device.