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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Maker Of Bump Stock Used In Shooting

12 October 2017

Victims of the Las Vegas shooting, in which 58 people died and more than 500 were injured, have sued a company that manufactures bump fire stocks, a mechanism that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire at the rate of an automatic weapon, over allegations of negligence.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the suit was filed in Clark County court on behalf of everyone who attended the festival. The complaint also names other manufacturers and retailers of bump stocks. The lawsuit claims that the leading manufacturer of the devices misled federal authorities about their intended goal and marketed them to thrill-seeking gun enthusiasts who wanted the experience of firing a fully automatic weapon that is otherwise greatly restricted under federal law.

The lawsuit was filed with support from the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a USA nonprofit organization that advocates gun control. One of Eglet's attorneys representing plaintiffs in the case is State Senator Aaron Ford. Its voicemail box was not accepting messages and the company has not commented since the shooting took place. According to gun control advocates, the device was meant to aid users who have arm mobility issues while firing a semi-automatic long gun.

The devices, originally meant to help people with disabilities, replace the stock and pistol grip of a semi-automatic rifle and allow the weapon to fire continuously, mimicking a fully automatic firearm.

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It has been said that the device is more economical than PC-based VR devices and VR consoles but its quality is unsatisfactory. It comes with a wireless VR controller, room-scale movement, a head-mounted display equipped with a built-in camera and so on.

Authorities found a dozen bump stocks in the hotel room of shooter Stephen Paddock after he opened fire into the crowd during Jason Aldean's set at the Route 91 Harvest Festival on October 1, killing at least 58 people and wounding almost 500 more before taking his own life in the largest mass shooting in modern US history.

Bump stocks allow semiautomatic rifles to operate as if they were fully automatic machine guns, which are heavily restricted in the United States. A wide range of gun control advocates have called for more regulation over bump stocks, with even the NRA coming out and saying it supports that idea.

The gun industry has broad protections from lawsuits. In 2010, however, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms found that the device isn't regulated under that law because it is a "firearm part" and not a firearm; bump stocks can replace standard rifle stocks and owners can easily add or remove them.

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Maker Of Bump Stock Used In Shooting