COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) — Lawmakers in South Carolina are working on ways to prevent mass shootings in the state. After the Las Vegas shooting, bump stocks became a big topic after investigators said the shooter used the device to alter his rifle.
Representative Leonidas Stavrinakis, (D) District 119 in Charleston County, said “I’d never even heard of the devices. I did some research talking to hunters, shooters, and the only use of this device that I saw was for the same use it was used for that night to take a legal weapon to turn it into an automatic weapon, which is illegal.”
Gun experts say there is an element of danger with any firearm if the person doesn’t know what they’re doing–like me. I tried my luck with a 9mm pistol. It’s a smaller firearm, but once I pulled the trigger, I was no match for its power and it was hard to control.
Being able to handle the weapon is one of the biggest concerns when we talk about altering a firearm.
Bump stocks use the force of the rifle to help you reset the trigger quicker. Lawmakers say the device acts like a loophole to help turn legal weapons into illegal ones. But gun experts say bump stocks are more of a novelty and makes handling a rifle a little harder.
Sherra Scott is a firearm instructor at Sandhill Shooting Sports. She says, “Anytime we have someone who is using a bump stock or they have the paperwork to have a fully automatic, we do keep a close eye on them to make sure they are able to control the firearm. If they are not able to keep the impact beneath the berm, we do stop them and don’t let them continue to fire.
“Personally I think bump stocks are harder to control than fully automatics because of the way it has to use the recoil to reset the trigger you can’t hold it against your body the way you could a fully automatic.
“Guns are no different than a chainsaw, an ax, a baseball bat– if you know how to use them properly and safely they’re wonderful tools. We don’t blame the knife when someone gets stabbed, so why do we blame guns when someone gets killed?”
Columbia City Council voted unanimously for a ban on bump stocks in the City of Columbia.
But state lawmakers are looking to take that a step further. A pre-filed bill would prohibit the possession, distribution and manufacturing of bump stocks in the state. It’s a move legislators say is needed to prevent mass casualties.
So far, four lawmakers have co-sponsored the House bill that would prohibit bump stocks in the state.