OLEY TWP., Pa. - The term "bump stock" has entered the lexicon following the mass shooting in Las Vegas. It's a device that was utilized by the shooter, but for those unfamiliar with guns, what exactly is it?
"A bump stock basically replaces your regular butt stock on an AR-15," explained George Gonzalez, owner of Firearms Defense Industry in Oley Township.
Gonzalez explained in more detail what it does when used with a semi-automatic rifle.
Without a bump stock, he said, the weapon fires one shot per trigger pull, and with a bump stock, it fires much the same, just at a more rapid speed.
"One round at a time, except this time, it's being propelled by the recoil," Gonzalez said.
Therefore, he said, it does not turn a semi-automatic into an automatic.
"The gun remains a semi-automatic. You are depressing the trigger once at a time," Gonzalez explained.
The accessory continues to spark debate among lawmakers on both the state and federal levels.
Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey released a statement encouraging more potential hearings on the item, saying, "While I am generally skeptical of banning firearms or firearm accessories outright, I am certainly open to Congress holding hearings to learn more about bump stocks and related matters."
Pennsylvania's Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey plans to co-sponsor legislation to ban the sale of bump stocks, according to multiple reports. He spoke about gun control on Tuesday.
"Is there nothing that we can do? No law? Nothing that we can do?" Casey questioned. "Because that's really what has become the point of view of one side of this debate."
Pennsylvania Reps. Madeleine Dean, a Montgomery County Democrat, and Dom Costa, a Pittsburgh-area Democrat, announced their plan Thursday to introduce legislation to update the state's definition of "offensive weapons" to include firearm modifications that assist in rapid firing.
"Our hearts go out to the victims and their families in Sunday night's shooting," Dean said, "but I am also reminded of the words of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords: 'The truth is, for those who have the power to act and to save lives, thoughts and prayers are not nearly enough.' And as legislators, we do have the power and the responsibility to act. This is why we are putting forth legislation to ban weapons that have no place in civilian society -- weapons that we have seen can kill and maim hundreds in a matter of minutes."
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