After the Las Vegas shooting which left 59 dead and nearly 500 more wounded, Cabela's has decided to pull so-called "bump stocks" from their shelves. Semi-automatic rifles equipped with the device, like the ones in possession of the shooter, can achieve a rate of fire approximate to a fully automatic weapon.
"On Tuesday, October 3, Cabela's initiated the process of discontinuing the sale of these devices at all retail locations and online," Cabela's wrote in a statement provided to the Washington Examiner. "We agree with the National Rifle Association and others that the sale of such devices should be subject to additional regulation."
The bump stocks were no longer available on the company's website as of Wednesday with an error message redirecting customers to different products. Six different store clerks in six different states told the Washington Examiner over the phone that the device was flying off the shelves after the shooting. Two clerks said that any bump stocks leftover were shipped back to the manufacturer.
"Like all Americans, we are shocked and deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas," the statement reads. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and loved ones. We also pay tribute to the first responders and other heroes who provided care and support during the assault."
Obscure before and immediately controversial after the attack, bump stocks are relatively cheap, pretty easy to install, and completely legal. While machineguns fire multiple shots with a single pull of the trigger, a bump stock uses a rifle's recoil and shooter's shoulder to "bump" the trigger and achieve rapid fire. In less than 20 minutes, a shooter can unbox the device, install it on his semi-automatic rifle, and go full auto. No gunsmith and no background check required.
By contrast, owning a machine gun requires a lengthy background check and can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. The cheapest bump stock that Cabela's carried before Tuesday retailed for just $119.
"Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's, along with all responsible sportsmen and women," the statement reads, "understand that the right to bear arms comes with profound responsibilities, including the safe handling, secure storage and lawful use of firearms at all times."
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and both houses of Congress have floated the idea of banning the bump stock altogether.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.