A bump stock essentially turns a semi-automatic rifle into a machine gun. Technically, the gun still only fires once for every time that the trigger is pulled, which would usually make that gun legal. However, a bump stock uses a spring system to allow the gun’s own recoil to pull the trigger again by bumping it against the person’s shoulder. This means that the gun can fire at an extremely rapid rate that is very similar to a machine gun, even if the technology that allows this is slightly different in design.
In any case, the federal government has banned bump stocks in the United States. Much of this came after the shooting in Las Vegas where more than 50 people lost their lives. Bump stocks had been built and sold before this, but the true ramifications became clear during that event, and the government decided they needed to ban them to keep them out of the wrong hands.
But what if you have one, or what if you make one yourself, or what if you buy one illegally? What type of penalties would you face?
A long prison term and heavy fines
The potential penalties are very serious. You could be fined as much as $250,000, and you could find yourself facing a prison term of up to 10 years. This is not a minor infraction. Though the ruling was somewhat controversial because there are those who believe bump stocks should not be illegal in the first place, the government cracks down very hard on those who have them.
If you are facing weapons charges for having a bump stock or something similar, make sure you know exactly what legal defense options you have.