The media continues to demonstrate its shocking level of ignorance about firearms, with the latest example coming from CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
Upon reports that the Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock had semi-automatic firearms equipped with bump stocks, Cuomo told CNN viewers Tuesday, “you can buy something that is legal to change semi-automatic to automatic.”
There a couple of things wrong with this statement.
First of all, assuming that Cuomo was probably talking about the bump stocks that Paddock was using, those accessories do not “change” the weapon from semi-automatic to automatic. The weapon still requires one trigger pull per shot — the bump stock just utilizes physics to allow the shooter to pull the trigger faster, mimicking the rate of fire of an automatic weapon.
Second, Cuomo is wrong that an accessory that does change a gun from semi-automatic to automatic would be legal. The manufacturing of automatic firearms for civilian use has been banned in the United States since 1986, and any conversion of a semi-automatic to automatic would violate that ban.