Some Texas weapons retailers say they don’t expect much impact on their bottom line from the new ban on bump stock sales.
A bump stock is an attachment that allows a semi-automatic weapon to fire nonstop, and one was used in the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting. The ban on the attachment took effect Tuesday.
Some retailers either didn’t sell bump stocks or said customers who wanted the items snapped them up in the weeks after the Las Vegas massacre, the Austin American-Statesman reported.
“They were dead inventory to pretty much anyone,” Guns Warehouse manager Steve Ou said. “Will this put a dent in the firearms market? I don’t think so.”
The Trump administration formally banned bump stocks in December 2018.
There were 280,000 to 520,000 bump stocks in circulation, slightly over 2,000 retailers that sold the device and one company that was still manufacturing the device ahead of the embargo, according to estimates from a review by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Prior to the prohibition, bump stocks usually sold for $200 to $400.
On a statewide level, the largest manufacturer of bump stocks was North Texas-based Slide Fire. But after receiving criticism following the Las Vegas shooting, Slide Fire closed down in June 2018 and sent its residual inventory to Fort Worth dealer RW Arms.
RW Arms stopped selling bump stocks one week before the ban, but emailed customers saying they “still have inside deals on the top triggers in the industry.”
The retailer announced Monday that it would hand over its remaining 60,000 bump stocks to be dismantled under the observation of ATF agents.
ATF spokeswoman Nicole Strong declined to disclose the amount of bump stocks that have been surrendered in the Central Texas area.
“The number turned in doesn’t take into account the number that people are destroying on their own or turning in to local law enforcement,” she said.
The American-Statesmen has a pending request for information on how many have been surrendered under the Freedom of Information Act.