Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Las Vegas, NV, United States (4E) – None of Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock’s rifles were fully automatic weapons that could fire off all the rounds in their magazines with a single trigger pull.
A legal accessory, however, enabled him to convert his semi-automatic rifles into full auto weapons that rained hundreds of rounds for a full 11 minutes onto his victims at the Las Vegas Massacre on the evening of Oct. 1.
Fifty-eight people were killed by Paddock in his rampage while 527 others suffered injuries, including many victims of gunshot wounds.
The Las Vegas shooting is the deadliest mass shooting in United States’ history to date.
The chilling discovery by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) of 12 semi-automatic rifles equipped with the lethal accessory called a “bump stock” explains eyewitness accounts and audio recordings of rapid and continuous rifle fire coming from Paddock’s hotel room at the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
Semi-automatic rifles, whose sales are legal in the U.S., can fire only one round per trigger pull. Military-type, fully automatic rifles, whose sales are either banned or heavily regulated, can unleash the 20 or 30 rounds in their magazines with a single pull of the weapon’s trigger.
The 12 bump stock equipped semi-auto rifles were among the 23 other firearms (rifles and pistols) recovered by LVMPD at Paddock’s barricaded hotel room. Paddock committed suicide before police blew open his door to storm the room.
A bump stock is a clip-on device that uses a semi-automatic weapon’s recoil to allow it to fire repeatedly at a rate much like that of a fully-automatic weapon.
Bump stocks replace the stock of a rifle and add a small “support step” in front of the trigger. The shooter rests his finger on this step and pulls forward on the barrel or forward grip to press the trigger against his finger.
The recoil propels the rifle backwards into a gap in stationary stock where the loose fit gives the rifle freedom to bounce forward. This has the effect of ‘bumping’ the trigger back into the shooter’s unmoving finger.
As long as a shooter maintains forward pressure, the rifle will continue to fire.
A bump stock facilitates rapid fire similar to a fully automatic rifle or a machine gun without requiring any modification of internal mechanisms to convert the firearm to an automatic weapon. This conversion process is illegal; the bump stock isn’t.
A bump stock turns a semi-automatic rifle firing single rounds into a weapon that can fire at a rate of 400 to 800 rounds per minute.
The following weapons are among those recovered from Paddock’s hotel room:
Four DDM4V1 semi-auto rifles, some equipped with bump stocks. The DDM4 made by U.S. firm Daniel Defense is a version of the civilian Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Three FN-15 automatic rifles made by FN America, One AK-47 Russian assault rifle, One Colt AR-15, the most popular semi-auto in the USA In addition, police recovered two unattached bump stocks.
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