The federal government officially banned bump stocks last week, making it illegal to own the gun add-ons notoriously used in the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas.

On Friday, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials arrived at Woody's Pawn and Jewelry shop on Russell Street to collect its remaining bump stocks.

"I think it is a great thing," Woody’s owner Chan Holman said, praising President Donald Trump for enacting the ban. "He does what he says. He identified the problem in Vegas in 2017."

"I do think it is a step toward controlling these mass murders that have taken place like the Sandy Hook shooting and the Las Vegas shooting," Holman said. "It seems to be a common thing to have a shooting."

Bump stocks dramatically increase the rate of gunfire, making weapons fire like machine guns.

Holman turned in the four remaining bump stocks at his store to the ATF.

"It was never a hot item here," Holman said. "It was never in high demand."

Fully automatic weapons have been outlawed since 1986, except for those that have been grandfathered. The guns fire continuously as long as the trigger is depressed.

It is also illegal to modify a semi-automatic rifles to make them fully automatic.

The new federal rule reclassifies all the bump stocks as “machine guns.”

Anyone selling or owning bump stocks now could face a felony charge of 10 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 for each violation.

Gun makers appealed the ban to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear it. A separate appeal is also before the court.

Eutawville's Plantation Hunt Club President Pat Bowick said he fully supports banning the bump stocks.

"I don't agree with infringing on the Second Amendment, but who needs a fully automatic weapon?" Bowick said. "You have a semi-automatic for hunting and protection."

None of the members of the club own bump stocks.

The ban requires any bump stocks to be destroyed or turned in to law            enforcement. The ATF suggests individuals surrender their bump stocks at one of its offices, so they can destroy it.

The closest ATF office to Orangeburg is in Columbia at 1835 Assembly St. in Room 309. The stocks can be turned in Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Individuals can also destroy the bump stocks themselves.

Options include melting, shredding or crushing the device. Any method of destruction must render the device incapable of being readily restored to function.

ATF has posted instructions and diagrams on its website -- www.atf.gov -- for destroying and making bump stocks inoperable.

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Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.


Staff Writer

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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