Gun owners who own bump stocks will have to get rid of them in the new year.
President Trump signed an order this week, banning the devices.
The updated regulation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “clarifies that bump-stock-type devices are machine guns,” which are illegal.
This comes in light of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting where the shooter used a bump stock to kill 58 people.
Bump stocks have become the latest focal point in the gun debate.
“The addition of [a bump stock] does not make [an AR-15] a machine gun,” said Jeremiah Dear, who works at Dave’s Gun Shop.
Dear says the device is used to hunt feral game and also as entertainment at the shooting range.
He, like many other hunters and gun owners, believes the ban on bump stocks cuts into the Second Amendment.
“It’s unnecessary because it does not make the weapon fully automatic. The person is going to manipulate the firearm; it has nothing to do with the parts on it,” he said.
Lafayette Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux, who represents a district that deals with gun violence often, believes the change is good and goes beyond politics.
“It’s not quite the answer for what we’re dealing with in the inner city and in these urban communities, but it is still a baby step in the right direction. It’s not about politics. You know, we’ve been talking about gun safety. There’s a way to get to gun safety without taking away people’s guns, but we have to be reasonable and negotiable.”
Dear said bump stocks replace a rifle’s standard stock, which is the part that goes against your shoulder.
“With the bump stock, it just [moves back and forth] when you hit the weapon. Other than that, you would have to actually hit the button [on the stock] and make it move,” he said.
But, it can make it easier for some people to fire rounds faster.
“Some people can manipulate their finger really, really quickly, and some people cannot. So the bump stock allows them to move their hand [on the trigger] a little bit faster,” said Dear.
Still supporters of the ban, like Boudreaux, say it’s necessary to prevent more mass shootings.
“I think any time that the bad person has better equipment or more effective equipment than the good guy, meaning law enforcement and military, that is a bad sign. I hope that this is just the beginning of what is to come to make America safe, to make Louisiana safe, to make Lafayette safe,” he said.
If you own bump stocks, you must either destroy them or surrender them to the ATF by March. The local ATF satellite office is at the Lafayette Police Department.
You can read more on the ban here.