Candidate for Georgia Governor is Giving Away Bump Stock Like One Used in Las Vegas Shooting

A candidate for governor in Georgia is giving away a bump stock just weeks after a Las Vegas gunman killed 58 people after using a similar device to turn his semi-automatic rifle into an automatic weapon.

“Blaming guns or bump stocks for the actions of a lunatic, is the same as blaming McDonald’s for heart disease,” wrote Republican State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Michael Williams in a statement announcing the raffle Monday. “An attack on bump stocks is an attack on the Second Amendment.”

Bump stocks, which fit around the grip and stock of the gun, allow the recoil from the weapon to continuously pull the trigger, modifying semi-automatic weapons to become fully automatic.

10_17_BumpStock A bump fire stock that attaches to a semi-automatic rifle to increase the firing rate. George Frey/Reuters

Williams said he was holding the draw “in solidarity with gun owners across the nation.”

“The tragedy in Las Vegas broke my heart, but any talk of banning or regulating bump stocks is merely cheap political lip service from career politicians,” he said. “In reality, the bump stock is the new, shiny object politicians are using to deceive voters into believing they are taking action against gun violence.”

After the Las Vegas shooting, police found 12 bump stocks in the Mandalay Bay hotel room of shooter Stephen Paddock. Days later Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein and Republican House Representative Carlos Curbelo introduced bills to Congress with the identical goal of banning bump stocks.

Read more: Mandalay Bay hotel worker Stephen Schuck warned of shooter before Las Vegas massacre

A 2015 decision by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms ruled that since a bump stock isn’t mechanical, it doesn’t violate the 1986 ban on the sale of automatic weapons.

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, the National Rifle Association—the largest gun lobby in the U.S.—said that although it doesn’t believe a law is necessary, new regulations for bump stocks may be in order.

A number of states across the U.S. have moved to ban the sale of the devices in the absence of a federal law.

Williams said Monday that he doesn’t believe in regulating or banning bump stocks.

“There is zero evidence that banning bump stocks would prevent any gun violence deaths,” he said, boiling it down to a mental health issue rather than access to powerful weapons.

“You cannot regulate evil out of existence,” Williams said. “If politicians wanted to have a real conversation on reducing gun violence, they would be discussing mental health awareness, and ways to reduce the weekly bloodbath in Chicago and other inner cities.”

Georgians will go to the polls on November 6, 2018.

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