Bump stocks are legal. A Tennessee lawmaker wants to change that

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Some Tennessee lawmakers want to ban bump stocks, the a device Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock reportedly used to rapidly fire into a crowd.

State Sen. Lee Harris, a Memphis Democrat, is sponsoring a bill that would ban the devices.

"Everybody of common sense agrees that you don't have to have this kind of firepower and be able to cause this kind of mayhem," Harris says.

The device attaches to the back of a semi-automatic rifle and uses recoil to make the weapon fire more rapidly, making it almost like a fully automatic rifle.

"I think more than 90 percent of Tennesseans would agree that nobody needs to be able to fire 90 bullets within a ten second span," Harris says.

Lee Harris

Bump stocks aren't regulated like guns. There's no background check and you don't have to register it on a list like you would a fully-automatic weapon.

Keith Warner runs Gunsmith, INC. in Germantown. He calls the bill a waste of time.

"I don't think it's going to protect or do anything to further protect the community," Warner says.

He rarely sells bump stocks, but says most people buy them for recreational shooting.

"They put them on because it's kind of fun. Hey, let's go shoot this thing. It's not really an application that anybody's using with the idea of wow, I can do a lot of damage with this," Warner says.

It's not just Tennessee lawmakers, Congress is considering bump stock regulations too.

Warner says even the possibility of bump stock regulation has caused demand for the device to skyrocket.

That's a concern for Senator Harris, who says passing the bill will be an uphill fight that can only be won if Republicans and Democrats support the legislation. He expects strong opposition from the NRA. In fact, he's not sure the bill will even make it out of committee.