Should bump stocks, trigger cranks be illegal in Ohio, U.S.?

10:19 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 Local News
Shooting instructor Frankie McRae aims an AR-15 rifle fitted with a “bump stock” at his 37 PSR Gun Club in Bunnlevel, N.C., on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. The stock uses the recoil of the semiautomatic rifle to let the finger “bump” the trigger, making it different from a fully automatic machine gun, which are illegal for most civilians to own. (AP Photo/Allen G. Breed)

Among the 23 guns found along with Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock’s body in his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, some were semi-automatic rifles modified to fire almost as fast as an automatic weapon using an accessory called a bump stock.

The rate of fire with which Paddock rained down terror on country music concertgoers last Sunday, killing 59 people and wounding hundreds of others, suggests that at least one of Paddock’s weapons had rapid-fire capabilities, according to firearms experts.

And while machine guns are heavily regulated by state and federal law, bump stocks are one of several methods used to modify semi-automatic weapons to fire at a nearly automatic rate. The modifications are perfectly legal in both Nevada and Ohio.

RELATED: Machine guns, rapid fire semi-automatics legal in Nevada, Ohio (WITH VIDEO)

Turning a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon is a felony. However, the modifications are legal because the gun still only fires once every time the trigger is pulled. By speeding up the rate at which the trigger is pulled, the bump stock mimics the rapid-fire capabilities of an automatic weapon without being fully automatic.

Gun control activists say these modifications should be illegal. Some of the devices are banned in other states and a Democratic proposal has been put forward to regulate them federally, which some Republicans said they are open to considering. But gun rights activists are pushing back against any knee-jerk response to Sunday’s tragedy.

SHOULD THESE MODIFICATIONS BE REGULATED? GO HERE FOR PERSPECTIVE FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE DEBATE.

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