Stephen Craig Paddock killed 59 people and injured 527 others who were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival, before killing himself in the room from which he shot his victims, on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino. Our original reporting continues below.
"We are aware of a device called a bump stock ... that enables an individual to speed up the discharge of ammunition", Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said during a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, though he declined to give more details. Fully-automatic weapons were heavily restricted and thoroughly tracked by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
It was not clear when or how Paddock obtained the guns.
The argument for the legality of bump fire stocks is that the rifle itself remains semi-automatic.
Mass shootings of the modern ilk are a lot more like terrorist attacks than they are like routine gun crimes, in which guns are used to settle an argument, facilitate a robbery or eliminate a rival.
Law enforcement says Paddock could've possibly modified the weapon he used in the attack.
Authorities have not revealed the specific type of gun or guns used by the shooter, although they believe he purchased them legally. As California Sen. Dianne Feinstein told the AP, "This replacement shoulder stock turns a semi-automatic rifle into a weapon that can fire at a rate of 400 to 800 rounds per minute".
Yet the purchasing of fully automatic weapons has been significantly restricted in the US since the 1930s. You do not need a permit to buy a rifle, shotgun or handgun, nor do you need to register the weapon, or be licensed to own one.
The gun lobby is powerful and most conservatives embrace ownership as a fundamental right. The attacker was able to carry all of these assault weapons in to his hotel rooms and to gun people down from above.
"He said people ask their friends "'What'd you do when you were in Vegas?' 'I went to a strip club, I saw a insane show, and I shot a machine gun, '" Grant said.
The US President quietly signed a bill which would roll back an Obama-era regulation demanding gun checks for people with mental illnesses in February this year.
If the elected representatives of the American people can not in the aftermath of those horrific events translate the yearning of people across the country to do something real and meaningful about guns, then nothing will be done.
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