This Legal Modification Turned the Las Vegas Shooter’s Gun into an Automatic Firearm

Since President Reagan signed into law the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986, it has been illegal for American civilians to possess fully automatic firearms. But given the video footage and witness accounts of the Las Vegas massacre, it would seem that the gunman used a weapon with automatic capabilities. So how was this possible?

Automatic weapons continually fire rounds using a self-reloading mechanism, allowing for an enormous number of bullets to be fired every second. These guns differ from semi-automatic weapons, which require the user to put the trigger every time to fire a single bullet. And semi-automatics are legal in a variety of forms — including the infamous AR-15.

Considering the rapid gunfire coming from the Mandalay Bay hotel, surely the Las Vegas gunman must have illegally acquired one of these banned automatic weapons, right? Surprisingly, no; the gun he owned and used to commit this atrocity was actually perfectly legal.

Of the 50 guns recovered from the shooter’s various homes and hotel room, 12 were legally purchased semi-automatic rifles which had be modified to make use of what is known as a “bump stock.”

A relatively new form of gun modification not widely sold in the U.S., the bump stock allows a gun owner to legally convert a semi-automatic rifle into one that can simulate automatic gunfire.

To make use of a bump stock, a rifle’s stock — the part affixed to the back of the firearm to increase accuracy and reduce recoil — is replaced by the modification. Braced against the user’s shoulder, the bump stock redirects the kinetic energy created by the gunfire’s recoil to bump the trigger finger rapidly against the trigger.

Though this does not exactly replicate an automatic gunfire, it greatly accelerates the shooter’s ability to fire a semi-automatic rife.

Assault-style weapons — the term used to describe semi-semiautomatic civilian rifles, like the AR-15 — and bump stock modifications are both legal.

And it has come to light that the Las Vegas gunman legally owned 12 such weapons in his various arsenals .

The fact that weapons like the AR-15 can be retrofitted with bump stocks legally is wholly indefensible when great carnage can be inflicted so quickly.

What reason could possibly exist for possessing such weapons, except to inflict mass casualties? Why is it even remotely feasible to permit a citizen to own a dozen of these guns? This should not be the case.

Take Action!

Please consider signing this Care2 petition and demand that the sale and possession of bump stocks be regulated to ensure that a tragedy like the Las Vegas never happens again!

Photo Credit: arinahabich / Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W1 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill5 months ago

What this article does not tell us is that those "bump stocks" have only been allowed since the Obama administration. They should again be made illegal. That is an after market part.

Ellie M
Ellie M7 months ago


Jaime J
Jaime J7 months ago

Thank you!!

One Heart i
One Heart inc7 months ago


Joette B
Joette B7 months ago

QUESTION....... does 45 own stock in weapons ? or ammo or is he a PUTIN SLEEPER AGENT ? this destruction he so passionately endorses is beyond sick is he being compensated like his golf photo ops for cash?

Eric Lees
Eric Lees7 months ago

@Winn A "No individual needs that many guns. And, what will the NRA do to help? NOTHING despite the fact that a lot of their members want meaningful change."

No they don't need that many guns but there is nothing wrong with a sane law abiding citizen having a bunch of guns. What does the NRA have to do with any of this? Where does the NRA advocate for violence against innocent people?

Knowledge is power, ignorance is the tool of Tyranny. Educate yourself Winn.

Winn A
Winn A7 months ago

No individual needs that many guns. And, what will the NRA do to help? NOTHING despite the fact that a lot of their members want meaningful change.

Winn A
Winn A7 months ago

Petition Signed

Sherri S
Sherri S7 months ago

Petition signed! No civilian needs anything like this.