For years, devices known as “Bump Stocks” were classified as attachments and therefore, not regulated by the federal government.
In 2015, 6 Investigates bought and demonstrated how the devices work , showing how easy it is to attach one to a semi-automatic rifle and put it to use. The result? A rate of fire that went from as-fast-as-you-can-pull-the-trigger (about 60 rounds-per-minute) to about 600 rounds-per-minute.
Now, the Department of Justice is classifying a bump-stock on the same level as a machine gun, meaning if you own one, you may have to turn it over to the ATF, or destroy it yourself. And the ATF has gone as far as posting a primer on what to expect next.
But, local civil rights lawyer Robert Heil III tells us the decision to ban bump stocks will likely face a stiff challenge in court, as gun groups and retailers rally to contest the ban as unconstitutional.
He says for now, the thing to do with that bump stock is wait and see how things work out in court.
“This is something that could go up to the Supreme Court to be determined whether this is constitutional and whether these do classify as fully automatic weapons, or not,” Heil tells 6 Investigates.
The ban comes in the wake of President Donald Trump’s promise to get rid of bump stocks in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting late last fall. In that incident, investigators discovered the shooter used rifles equipped with bump stocks.