WASHINGTON – For gun enthusiasts, the Slide Stock is an exciting add-on that enables shooters to unleash bursts of machine-gun-like fire from semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15.
But for gun control advocates, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., bumpfire devices (as they’re known generically) are a nightmare waiting to happen.
“With practice, a shooter can control his rate of fire from 400 to 800 rounds per minute,” Feinstein said on Wednesday, speaking at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on guns. With such devices, she said, mass shooters gain “tremendous killing power” that can “tear young bodies apart.”
For the children, of course. But just imagine if a crazed murderer could fire 9 rounds instantaneously.
Andrew Wilkow today on SiriusXM made a solid point that access to the internet and a hardware store is actually a lot more dangerous than any firearm.
This is a much more dangerous guided munitions delivery system, used by terrorists foreign and domestic:
The Houston Chronicle notes that bump fire itself isn’t all it’s cracked up to be:
Gun enthusiasts offer rave reviews but warn bumpfire can be an expensive habit.
“Fun? Yes indeed, the Slide Fire Stock is uber fun,” said David Fortier, writing in Shotgun News last September. “It will put a smile on your face just as quick as it empties your wallet as you burn through copious amounts of ammunition.”
There’s a saying in the citizen gun community: “Full auto is a good way to turn money into noise.”
The Slide Fire stock takes advantage of bump firing, which, for those that skipped the original article, is basically letting recoil bounce the trigger into your finger over and over, simulating full-auto fire. It isn’t full auto fire, it’s still one pull of the trigger fring one bullet, just rapidly. It’s difficult to control (which the Slide Fire stock controls to some degree) and it’s basically wasting rounds. It’s a gimmick, but it could be hypothetically used by someone in a shooting competition, but the specific skill you need to develop with bump firing, even with the Slide Fire, would still be difficult. It’s not like a full-auto gun with a selector switch. Even people who shoot a lot have difficulty controlling it.
The Houston Chronicle makes this interesting note:
David Koresh, the Branch Davidian cult leader in Waco, told law enforcement authorities that he used Hellfire triggers on semi-automatic weapons, according to “No More Wacos,” a 1995 book by gun-rights advocate David Kopel. Koresh and his followers killed four ATF agents during a 1993 raid before setting their compound ablaze during an FBI assault. At least 74 people, including 25 children, died.
Might be worth questioning the function and history of the ATF again and the behavior of those who want to “save the children”. Watching the first few minutes of the Academy Award nominated documentary will get you to the audio of ATF Agent Jim Canavaugh – who’s retired but still doing favors for the ATF and lying about Gunwalker operations.
Moving right along:
Although the technology has been around 40 years or more, bumpfire devices gained popularity in the wake of the Firearms Owners Protection Act, which among other things outlawed civilian possession or transfer of machine guns not legally in circulation prior to the law’s signing date, May 19, 1986.
FOPA was passed to correct some earlier gun control laws that were harsh and uncontrollable. It was made so that if you lived in Vermont and wanted to drive to West Virginia, you could safely travel through New York without being arrested. If you are on a peaceable journey and traveling, you have a defense to prosecution (and really shouldn’t be arrested at all) for crossing through jurisdictions that make your rights into crimes.
The Hughes Amendment was part of FOPA, and banned machineguns except for those before 1986. That’s why real machineguns cost an arm and a leg. There are only so many of them legally in existence, and so those are the only ones that can be bought or sold. It’s an artificial market created by government. It’s fascinating from a supply & demand standpoint, as cheap mass-produced submachineguns that would’ve gone for a few hundred dollars (and the $200 ATF tax stamp and a pile of paperwork and background checks) will now fetch thousands of dollars (like this cheap Sten).
The Slide Fire takes advantage of semi-automatic actions that should be the most resistant to out-of-battery detonations (I’m personally not a fan of bump fire at all because of out-of-battery risks, even if they should be impossible with ARs).
But realistically, it doesn’t matter either way. It’s just another tool. Like Robert Heinlein said: “There are no dangerous weapons, only dangerous men.“
Consider the V-Tac 1-5 drill. It’s a skill test drill in which a shooter will fire 1 round on the first target, 2 on the second, 3 on the third, then 4 on the second target again, then 5 rounds ending on the first target. I can do it in a little over 4 seconds. Travis Haley does it in 2.4.
That’s all done with semi-auto. We’ve already seen shotguns are more dangerous than rifles when comparing people with moderate skills. At high skill levels, it really doesn’t make a difference. It’s not the tool, it’s the man (or woman) using the tool.
Going after Slide Fire stocks is just as meaningless as going after semi-auto firearms with scary features or non-scary features, or going after certain sizes of buckshot, or going after rifles or pistols or anything else.
A good person with a gun – no matter what type of gun or what features – will harm no one and will protect people, even if only through deterrence. A good person disarmed will become a victim of harm and can protect no one. A bad person will never be disarmed, will always find a weapon, and will always harm people.