Local gun store owners and gun control advocates react to bump stock ban

Posted on 25 March 2019 at 6:31pm

COLUMBIA - The federal government's ban on bump stocks goes into effect Tuesday, making Monday the last day to legally carry or own the rifle attachment which helps mimic automatic fire.

Some gun shop owners in Columbia think the law is a step in the wrong direction for gun rights.

"The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms approved the item as a civilian transferrable accessory," said Larry Wayland, who manages Modern Arms in north Columbia. "The administration extra-legislatively redefined the term 'machine gun' without going through any type of lawmaking process."

Wayland is referring to the Department of Justice amending ATF legislation in December to disallow bump stocks in response to the Las Vegas shooting. 

Owners of the devices were given 90 days to get rid of or destroy them.

Wayland said the Las Vegas shooting showed government needs to get tougher on criminals, and not outlaw specific guns.

"Shooting people with whatever type of gun is a crime, murder is a crime," Wayland said. "Getting tough on criminals, enforcing the existing laws we have makes a lot more sense than expanding the list of laws."

Organizations fighting to end gun violence, like Mom's Demand Action for Gun Sense Laws in America, say the gun attachments are particularly deadly.

"A bump stock was used in Las Vegas and we saw mass casualties," volunteer chapter leader Becky Morgan said. "It enabled the shooter to fire off multiple shots in quick succession."

Since the attack, her organization has been fighting to outlaw bump stocks.

"We filed a formal comment urging the Department of Justice to clarify that bump stocks are prohibited under the law," Morgan said. "Every town in Moms Demand Action mobilized tens of thousands of comments."

She said she's happy their hard work culminated in a change to federal law. However, she said she knows there is still a long fight ahead.

"It's still up to Congress to close any loopholes. There are other devices that function similarly," Morgan said. "There's still a lot of work to be done, but we are glad that this common sense first step has been taken."