MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Joe Williams knows guns. He's the gunsmith at T.P. Outdoors in West Monroe. For almost 20 years, he's been cleaning, fixing and selling guns. Since Monday though, he's been selling a lot of bump stocks.
"It has been today, mostly," Williams said. "We sold out today."
So what are bump stocks?
They are accessories that fit on the back of a gun, like an AR-15, allowing the weapon to fire at an increased rate. A rate which is nearly that of a fully automatic weapon. It does this by basically forcing the gun to recoil in a way which allows its trigger to be pulled faster than humanly possible.
"There's a switch that'll lock this, so your only option is to fire it semi-automatic, every time you pull the trigger," Williams said as he demonstrated. "Or you can unlock it, which frees it, where it will move freely, and just from the recoil and you putting pressure on the trigger, every time it fires, it reciprocates. And it's basically bouncing off your finger."
They're legal because they don't actually make the gun automatic. Your finger is still involved in pulling the trigger. The gun does fire much faster though, which makes it more dangerous.
That danger worries Sterlington Police Chief Barry Bonner.
"As law enforcement I do not see the need for any civilian, even law enforcement in our capacity that we do, for a fully automatic weapon," Bonner said.
That said, bump stocks do have certain legal uses.
"For recreational [purposes], you know, having fun and going out there to the range or your private property," Williams said. But, neither of them are sure they should have a place on the streets.
"Common sense goes a long way with them," Williams said.
"There's no sporting purpose to have one, other than for the fun of going out and shooting a bunch of cans rapidly."