GREAT FALLS – The device known as a “bump stock,” which allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire shots in rapid succession simulating the ability of a fully automatic weapon, was used on several of the rifles operated by Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock.
Following the events in Las Vegas, nine GOP congressmen are fighting to amend an Obama-era law that made bump-stock devices legal.
Great Falls automatic rifle dealer Mitchell Supply was once approached by a bump-stock manufacturer but Mitchell decided not to sell the device. Their main concern was that the rifle accessory would not be safe for younger and less experienced shooters.
Co-owner James Mitchell said the device is not conducive to accuracy.
“Your finger is in a fixed position and the gun reciprocates just like this so that simulates a full auto fire,” Mitchell said. “But since the gun moves in the stock, you’re just shooting a general area, you’re not shooting a specific target.”
Mitchell added that since President Trump has been in office, overall gun sales have flatlined because the driving force of fear that the government will ban certain guns is now gone under the new Republican administration.
According to Mitchell, there is an overabundance of assault rifle manufacturers in the market right now, which drives down demand.
Gun dealers and manufacturers have also tried to engage more women and youth in sport-shooting to raise sales.