Days after the Las Vegas shooter used rifles modified with “bump stocks” to kill 59 people Sunday, retailers have begun to remove the attachments from their shelves and websites. The National Rifle Association is also calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to review whether the bump stocks, an accessory that uses the gun’s recoil to rapidly press the trigger and fire hundreds of rounds per minute, are legal.
At the same time, demand for the product has spiked.
Law enforcement confirmed Tuesday that Stephen Paddock modified 12 semi-automatic guns into fully automatic weapons with bump stocks, an accessory that uses the gun’s recoil to rapidly press the trigger and fire hundreds of rounds per minute.
“The NRA believes that devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations,”NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and NRA Chief Executive Chris Cox said in a joint statement released Thursday.
Meanwhile, bump stocks are becoming harder to buy.
On Tuesday, searches on Google shopping and WalMart’s website resulted in a number of bump stocks for sale.
By Wednesday, a search for “bump stock” on Google Shopping turned up no results.
Slightly modified search terms do bring up the devices, indicating Google is likely specifically blocking search results for “bump stock,” web programmer and blogger Scott Hanselman told the NewsHour in an email.
Google did not respond to the NewsHour’s emailed request for confirmation that it intentionally delisted the products.
A search for “bump stock” on WalMart.com only provides results for unrelated merchandise.
WalMart said it pulled the devices after it realized they were available.
“These items, which were sold by third-party sellers on our online marketplace, violate our prohibited items policy and never should have been sold on our site,” WalMart said in a statement provided to the NewsHour. “They were immediately removed.”
Calls to several Walmart stores confirmed bump stocks were never sold in the company’s brick and mortar locations, and other AR-15 accessories were removed from stores more than a year ago as part of company policy.
Bump stocks can still be found on a number of other websites, including Yahoo! Shopping. A number of Cabela’s outdoor sports stores told the NewsHour they had run out of bump stock inventory. Store employees the NewsHour spoke to did not know whether the company planned to restock its supply.
One Cabela’s in Reno, Nevada confirmed it pulled bump stocks off its shelves Tuesday morning. Cabela’s corporate office did not respond to request for comment.
The prices of bump stocks have also spiked with a surge in demand. Bump stocks could be found for a little more than $100 on Monday were selling for $300 Wednesday. On some auction websites, the product was being sold for more than $700.
One of the major bump stock manufacturers, Slide Fire, has stopped taking orders for its product.
“We have decided to temporarily suspend taking new orders in order to provide the best service with those already placed,” a statement on the Slide Fire website reads.
The website for Bump Fire Systems, another provider of bump fire stocks, has been unavailable since Tuesday. The company said on its Facebook page that its servers were down due to high traffic volume.
The NewsHour reached out to both Slide Fire and Bump Fire Systems. The companies have not responded.