EUREKA, Calif. - The shooting at a concert in Las Vegas has started national debate on a device that modifies the speed of a semi-automatic weapon. Stephen Paddock is the man investigators say is responsible for the killing of nearly 60 people and injuring over 500 more. Jill Snyder, the Special Agent in Charge of the ATF released information about the finding of Paddock’s hotel room
"There were 12 bump-fire stocks identified on the firearms in the hotel room," Snyder said at a press conference.
According to Pacific Outfitters firearms instructor, Steve Clark, an automatic weapon continuously fires when a person pulls the trigger. A semi-automatic weapon fires only one shot when the trigger is pulled. It must be released and pulled again to fire another shot. He said a “bump stock” uses the force of the recoil from a firearms and allows a person to shoot faster.
"What it allows me to do is fire a gun in semi-automatic mode much faster than I could with my finger," Clark said.
Clark described a bump stock as a plastic device that can be put on a semi-automatic weapon.
"With proper technique a bump stock could make that gun fire faster, than say, a standard fully automatic could," Clark said.
Some stores owners reporting that bump stocks were selling exceptionally fast after the shooting.
"People have been calling in to buy those because they're sure they're going to be outlawed," said a gun store owner in Nevada.
Clark said that online retailers were capitalizing on the sudden demand for bump stocks.
"The retail price of these was $199, now they're up to $800," Clark said. "This happened overnight, right after the shooting."
Now legislators are discussing whether to regulate firearm modifying devices. The National Rifle Association has released a statement saying that they support regulations on bump stocks. However, Clark said that the bump-firing technique can be used without the device. He said many people know how to do it with their belt.
"I can hook my finger through a belt loop and it will do the same thing," Clark said.