A bump stock is a device that you can fit on a semi-automatic rifle. When the rifle fires, the recoil pushes back against the stock. The bump stock then pushes the gun forward again. This causes it to fire another time in rapid succession.
The goal of these stocks is essentially to turn semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic rifles. Technically, the trigger is being pulled each time. But the user doesn’t actually have to pull the trigger. As long as they simply hold it back, the stock moves backward and forward with the natural motion of the gun, using its own recoil and a propellant. This means that the gun can fire a lot faster than most people could ever fire a true semi-automatic rifle.
These stocks recently became legal again
These devices were used in the mass shooting in Las Vegas, where 58 people lost their lives at an outdoor concert. The socks allowed the shooter to fire much faster than he would have been able to otherwise, increasing the death toll. As a result, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) banned them, classifying them as machine guns – which, of course, were already banned.
However, recent court cases have claimed that the ATF never had the authority to put that ban into effect. Courts have now ruled in agreeance with this allegation, saying that the ATF did overstep its bounds. As a result, bump stocks are once again legal in Texas.
This story helps to demonstrate why it’s so important to keep an eye on how the laws change. Bump stocks were illegal for four years and people could have faced serious charges for owning or selling them, but the new ruling completely reverses course. All who are facing weapons charges need to be sure they know about the legal options at their disposal.