weapons

Local gun expert explains difference between semi-automatic and automatic weapons

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CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Police say the Las Vegas shooter had 47 guns in three different places. He bought them in 4 states.

12 of them had “bump stocks” that allow guns to fire “like” an automatic weapon.

A local gun expert spoke about the difference between semi-automatic rifles and fully-automatic rifles.

At “Target World,” seasoned gun experts show the difference in speed between semi-automatic weapons and full-auto.

Most people who own rifles own semi-automatic ones. That means the shooter has to pull the trigger each time to fire a round.

“A semi-automatic rifle, any law-abiding citizen can purchase one by going to any firearms dealership, filling out a background check,” said Tara Wright of Target World.

The rapid firing of Stephen Paddock’s guns allowed him to hurt a large number of people in a short period of time. Authorities say Paddock had “bump stocks” on 12 of his guns.

With those legal devices, the shooter pulls the trigger once and the gun’s recoil causes the gun to shoot multiple rounds.

Fully-automatic guns built before 1986 can be legally purchased, but it’s an expensive and lengthy process.

“They do extensive background checks. You have to fill out a different kind of paperwork, send off a tax stamp to the government for them to be able to do an extensive background check and it takes about a year to get that paperwork back,” said Wright. “Those firearms go anywhere from $15,000 and up. They’re not in the average person’s budget to be able to afford one of those firearms on a regular basis.”

The ATF is still investigating, but if Paddock converted his guns illegally, it would have taken skill.

“The manufacturers do not make those firearms to go full-auto not even with a drop-in auto sear and it is very illegal to make a semi-automatic into a full machine gun,” said Wright.

Gun owners are hoping Paddock’s atrocity doesn’t have a backlash.

“What he did was wrong. It is not okay what he did and to me, those people did not have a chance to defend themselves from where he was and where they were located and now again everybody’s afraid of firearms and that makes me sad,” said Wright.

Anytime a gun is used in a crime, the ATF tracks down the history of the firearm and, because of the magnitude of what happened in Las Vegas, a process that usually takes days was expedited.

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