Company behind bump stocks sued over Las Vegas massacre


A lawsuit seeking to represent the victims of the Las Vegas rampage, the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history, was filed against the makers of so-called bump stocks, which the shooter used to achieve a near-automatic rate of fire. The lawsuit also asks the court to award punitive damages.

The lawsuit, announced Tuesday, was filed last week on behalf of the shooting victims and targets Slide Fire Solutions, as well as manufacturers, sellers and marketers of bump stocks. The lawsuit alleges that such damages are appropriate for defendants who provided a product that turned a semi-automatic gun into the functional equivalent of a machine gun, thereby evading longstanding federal law.

The putative class is represented by Robert Eglet and three others at Eglet Prince in Las Vegas, and by Jonathan Lowy of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence in Washington.

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Fully automatic weapons have been heavily restricted in the United States since the enactment of the National Firearms Act more than 80 years ago.

The anti-gun group is also claiming that bump stocks reflect poorly on peaceful gun owners.

Three people who attended the country music festival where a gunman massacred 58 people October 1 have filed a class action against the maker of bump stock, an attachment used by the gunman to modify his semi-automatic rifles to fire at nearly the same rate as automatics.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has previously found that the production and sale of bump stocks are legal under existing federal law.

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Bump stock devices were created by Slide Fire Solutions, LP.

In past interviews, the bump stock's inventor, Jeremiah Cottle, has said the device was invented to help the disabled who might have limited use of their hands. A dozen bump stocks, which allow a semi-automatic weapon to fire with the rapidity of an automatic weapon, were found in gunman Stephen Paddock's 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay Resort hotel room.

One auction for a single Slide Fire brand bump stock designed for an AR-15 hasattracted 15 bids, driving the price to $830. Slide Fire marketed its bump stock as a military-grade accessory for civilians, and sold for $100 to $400, depending on the model. Before the company stopped processing orders and its device was still sold by stores like Cabela's and Walmart, Slide Fire stockstypically retailed for about $200.

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