SC lawmakers, NRA member agree bump stocks should be banned

Published: Oct. 11, 2017 at 9:54 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2017 at 2:04 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – As the debate about bump stocks in Washington continues, WMBF news reached out to South Carolina representatives to find out their thoughts on the topic.

U.S. Representative Tom Rice, a Republican, talked with WMBF news reporter Marissa Tansino at an event Tuesday and said he thinks the devices should be illegal.

Right now, there are no regulations or laws against bump stocks, which attach to semi-automatic weapons, allowing them to fire at a similar rate of a fully-automatic weapon.

Rice said because there is already an extensive process required before the purchase of an automatic weapon, including a background check, there shouldn't be a way around that. He added he doesn't think the conversation needs to be opened up any more than that.

"If somebody's going to have a weapon that they need these federal licenses and extensive background checks and this bump stock thing is a way around that – to take a weapon that would otherwise be legal and make it have these characteristics of automatic weapons – then I think they should be illegal," said Rice, "I think they should be taken off the market."

In a statement obtained by WMBF news, Senator Lindsey Graham said "I think it'd be a good time to have a hearing. Just to find out - how does the technology work and is there a legislative solution?"

United States Senator Tim Scott, was among nine senators to sign a letter asking the director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to review two national firearms laws and offer an interpretation on the use of bump stocks.

You can find the full version of that letter here.

WMBF News also spoke with a local member of the National Rifle Association. He said he thinks bump stocks should be banned altogether.

Seth Smith, owner and operator of Aynor Armory Firearms Research and Manufacturing and a local NRA member, said a person firing with a bump stock attached to their weapon doesn't have very much control over their gun.

To shoot safely, he said you need to be able to control where every round is going, and these devices make that harder to do. He said he fully agrees with the NRA considering a review of these accessories because he couldn't believe, when he first saw a bump stock, that something like this is available to just anyone.

"I bought one when they first came out. I wanted to try it out, I wanted to see it because my business is a firearms research and manufacturing company," Smith said. "We tried it, did not like it, and it's sat on my shelf and has not moved. We fired two magazines out of it and did not like it because it's scary."

Smith added a bump fire stock allows a weapon to fire at a rate similar to a fully automatic weapon, but it's not the exact same.

"It's definitely not something that needs to be in anybody's hands," Smith added.

When asked how items like this should be regulated if that is the path that needs to be taken, Smith said serialize them.

Smith said he believes if something that allows a faster rate of fire is going to be legal, it needs to be regulated.

"Same thing you do with a suppressor or something like that," he said. "Just so you can control whose hands they go into because right now you can go on the internet and anyone can buy it. Anyone with no background check."

Seth said a weapon modified with a bump stock is more dangerous than a fully automatic weapon because you can't control it.

"It would be really hard to regulate everything, but to make something fully-auto, there definitely needs to be some type of hoop to jump through," Smith said.

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