LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — President Donald Trump took his first action on gun control since last week’s shooting at a Florida high school. He ordered the Justice Department to come up with a rule banning bump stocks, a device made famous from last year’s massacre in Las Vegas.
He included in a memo he signed Tuesday a demand for increased security in schools and better coordination between the FBI and local law enforcement. That was a concern because a tip about the confessed gunman in a Florida high school shooting was reported to the FBI, but was never acted upon.
“The key in all of these efforts,” Pres. Trump said Tuesday, “as I said in my remarks the day after the shooting, is that we cannot merely take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference, we must actually make a difference.”
Pres. Trump initially ordered a review of the legality of bump stock devices after the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and injured more than 800.
Bryan Hearn carried bump stocks at American Tiger Firearms in Maumelle. He called them a niche item and claimed nobody ever bought one from him.
“Most of the time, if you talk to people that had them, they had jamming problems,” Hearn stated, “because they would want to hold them tight enough, and the way the bump stock worked, it worked off recoil. So, it wasn’t very efficient.”
Hearn said some of his friends had bump stocks, but found they made their guns so erratic they were no longer fun to use, so they all took the devices off.
“It was just something to give you the feel of a full automatic,” he said, “or something faster than you could pull your trigger whenever you were out at the range.”
Accuracy was not a concern for the Las Vegas shooter, who fired out of a 32nd-floor hotel room at a large crowd during a country music concert.
“Granted, where he was and what he was doing, it was premeditated, everything he did,” Hearn said. “So how do you stop somebody like that? It’s hard to, it really is.”
Many of the people who commented on a post about the bump stock ban on THV11’s Facebook page agreed with Hearn that banning bump stocks would not make America safer.
“It doesn’t make us bad people if we have that on our gun,” Hearn said. “Bad guys don’t listen to laws. If we haven’t learned that by all these shootings…murder is still a capital crime, no matter where you do it or what you use. If you pull the trigger and you take someone’s life, no matter what weapon you have — or you run over them with a car into a crowd, as we’ve seen that happen — you’re still taking someone’s life and it’s still illegal.”
Hearn believes increasing background checks and providing more funding for mental health care will make more of a difference in improving public safety, though he is not convinced that will be enough to prevent mass shootings.
“We have laws that guide our country, but the simple fact is, bad people don’t listen to our laws,” he stated. “Bad guys are coming. They’re always coming.”