In aftermath of Las Vegas, Vermont gun owners say ‘bump stock’ issue is a nonstarter

Lawmakers from Vermont want to close the so-called bump stock loophole, but gun owners in the state say the effort would have little impact, other than to give government more control over guns.

In the aftermath of the Las Vegas mass shooting, U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., signed on to sponsor the end of the sale of bump stocks.

Currently, the National Firearms Act allows gun owners to purchase a bump stock, and similar devices, for semiautomatic weapons, enabling them to fire at the same rate as automatic weapons.

Leahy and Sanders joined with other senators to introduce the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act  put forward by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., on Oct. 4.

Photo by Lou Varricchio

Vermont Field Sports gun shop manger Greg Boglioli: “Hunters wouldn’t use bump stocks.”

According to a news release signed by the bump stock bill’s sponsors, the legislation would “ban the sale, transfer, importation, manufacture or possession of bump stocks, trigger cranks and similar accessories that accelerate a semi-automatic rifle’s rate of fire.” Hunting accessories would be exempt, as would devices used by law enforcement and the government.

On the day following the Las Vegas killings, Sanders was among the first to politicize the tragedy.

“Last night’s attack is the deadliest mass shooting in our country’s modern history, and this year there have been more mass shootings than days in the year. In light of the terrible tragedy in Las Vegas and mass shootings across the country, it should be clear to all that we have got to do everything we can to stop guns from falling into the hands of people who should not have them. It is long past time for Congress to take action on gun safety to save innocent lives,” Sanders said.

U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., also weighed in on the tragedy: “What will it take to pass common sense gun laws that take guns out of the hands of people who should not have them?”

According to Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, “If somebody can essentially convert a semiautomatic weapon by buying one of these and utilizing it and cause the kind of mayhem and mass casualties that we saw in Las Vegas, that’s something of obvious concern that we ought to explore.”

But Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said in a statement that “it is disturbing to see anti-gun politicians and celebrities politicizing the (Las Vegas) tragedy by calling for further restrictions on guns.”

According to Evan Hughes, vice president of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, it’s too early after the Las Vegas shootings to make regulatory changes or enact new legislation.

“The Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs has long held that laws should be based on sound pubic policy and in compliance with the state and federal constitutions. (For example), the gun control legislation that has been introduced in the Vermont Legislature in 2017 has not met these important standards,” he told True North.

Bump stocks

Despite the flurry by Leahy, Sanders and others to enact a gun control measure, some Vermont gun owners appeared unruffled.

“We don’t have any bump stocks and don’t even order them,” said Vince Dattilio, owner of Dattilio’s Guns & Tackle in South Burlington. “We don’t have a thing to do with them. It’s just not something most Vermont gun owners and sportsmen are interested in.”

Bill Cleary, owner of Powderhorn Outdoors Sports Center in Williston, sells bump stocks but was not interested in talking about it. “I don’t talk to the media anymore about gun issues,” he said. “My experience is that reporters don’t treat the industry very respectfully. Someone in your profession ruined it for you a long time ago.”

Greg Boglioli, manager of Vermont Field Sports in Middlebury, told True North that his store has never sold a bump stock.

“Semiautomatic rifles usually fire between 45 and 60 rounds per minute but a bump stock boosts that rate to somewhere between 400 and 800 rounds per minute,” Boglioli said. “But we’ve actually never sold these things. And the AR-15 (semi-automatic) market has never really been our market anyway.

“We got some ARs in the store after Newtown, as a means to keep customers in the store, and it did bring in some new customers. No matter, hunters wouldn’t use bump stocks. They may increase the rate of fire but you can’t be that accurate with them. Maybe you can put up a fairly big target and see how fast you can unload your magazine into it. But remember that the military went to three-shot bursts because you have better control. That’s because the longer the rate of fire, the harder it is to keep it on target.”

Split on the issue

Photo by Lou Varricchio

Retired NYPD cop Thomas Sinacore: “The government keeps whittling away our gun rights. …This is the government’s incremental way of controlling guns.”

Vermont gun owner and veteran New York City police officer Thomas Sinacore of Middlebury is split on the issue of controlling bump stock devices.

“Well, I  personally have no need or desire to own a bump stock or a machine gun. It doesn’t make any sense to own one,” he told True North. “Machine guns, in general, are too expensive to buy and to shoot. But being a defender of the Second Amendment, I feel that if you want a bump stock you should be able to get one.

“Meanwhile, the government keeps whittling away our gun rights. Legislators keep circumventing the Second Amendment, first by controlling certain guns, certain kinds of bullets, (and) now these accessories. It’s all an excuse to control gun ownership. This is the government’s incremental way of controlling guns.”

Las Vegas mass-murderer Stephen Paddock used a bump stock to modify a semiautomatic rifle to fire like a machine gun. Paddock killed at least 58 concert goers and injured 489 others from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel-Casino.

One Vermonter, Sandy Casey, 35, originally from Dorset, was killed during the shooting.

Lou Varricchio is a freelance reporter for True North Reports. Send him news tips at

Image courtesy of Lou Varricchio/TNR

5 thoughts on “In aftermath of Las Vegas, Vermont gun owners say ‘bump stock’ issue is a nonstarter

  1. Back in the 80’s in Raleigh, NC, a young man bought a semi-automatic .22 rifle from a pawn shop and went to a popular mall and started shooting people. Back then, there was no waiting period or background check. Guns are a tool that I don’t want to give up mine or my rights infringed upon. I wouldn’t use a bump stock because ammo is expensive and you will burn through a lot of it to fast. True gun control is squeeze the trigger.

  2. Again , we are faced with a tragedy perpetrated by a nut job!! Again our leftist politicians avoid
    the real facts (mental defect) and jump right into a gun issue and of course Bernie “Soap Box”
    Sanders is the first our of the gate (No Surprise) followed by “Babbling” Pat Leahy and the
    last but not least “Righteous” Peter Welch, will these fools ever stop with their BS, most are
    sick of there agenda !!

    As gun enthusiasts we know these Bump Stocks have been out for years and now because one “Nut Job ” uses it in a crime it’s a gun issue. Nope it’s a ” mental defect” issue.

    As stated above in VT most gun shop owners don’t even stock them, most gun enthusiast don’t
    even want one and that includes me !! But if you are not a felon & can own a firearm legally you should be able to purchase a Bump Stock. It’s your responsibility !!

    Why don’t Leahy, Sanders and Welch fix real issues (Tax reform, Immigration , Medical ) It would be nice , but we know they won’t tackle real problems. ( BS ) is all we get .

  3. I was going to write something on this bu our allies at the New Hampshire firearms coalition said what needs to be said far better than I could.

    The entire Board of Directors and leadership team at the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition, Inc. is deeply saddened by the loss of human life earlier this week in Las Vegas. We want to extend our sincere condolences to the families of those who were brutally murdered and our wishes for a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured by the heinous criminal acts which were committed on Monday.

    We are outraged that certain politicians are attempting to use these criminal acts as an excuse to move forward with their anti-Second Amendment agenda. WMUR is reporting that anti-gun State Representative Steven Shurtleff is proposing a New Hampshire ban on so called “bump stocks” that allow a shooter to quickly discharge a semi-automatic firearm.

    The national anti-gun agenda includes gun and magazine bans as well as a calculated move by Senator Maggie Hassan to ban “bump fire” stocks at the federal level. These politicians are claiming there is a loophole. We disagree. The fact that a murderer, who was the son of a career criminal abused such a device is no reason to prohibit its ownership and use by the law abiding. It is often said, “do not punish a child for the sins of a parent”; however, in the case of the Las Vegas murderer, the proverbial apple seems to have fallen close to the tree.

    The murderers at the Bataclan Theater in gun free France were not stopped by French gun bans. The murderers in gun free England stabbed and drove over people. Murderers commit murder. Lets not react by punishing the law abiding.

    Banning a benign firearm accessory will not make anyone safer, however, as Rep. Nancy Pelosi said: “They’re going to say, ‘You give them bump stock, it’s going to be a slippery slope.’ I certainly hope so…” That’s right, Nancy Pelosi wants your guns!

    Pelosi said Democrats still want to push for enhanced background checks on gun purchases, which in itself is a “compromise” from even harsher restrictions favored by the party.

    We reject the concept that gun, magazine or firearm accessory bans will make anyone safer. The ultimate goal of Rep. Pelosi is an Australian style gun ban. The Hassan bill is just a start!

    Why does anyone want or need a bump fire stock? The answer is really quite simple, due to changes in federal law that were made in 1986, the sale and possession of machineguns which were manufactured after May, 1986 is prohibited. This law, froze the supply of “transferable machineguns” at 1986 levels. Demand has outstripped supply thus causing prices to explode. A pre-1986 M16 can sell for over $20,000. This is out of reach for most gun owners. However, many people still wish to lawfully experience the uniqueness of firing a machinegun. Enter the bump fire stock as an inexpensive, lawful solution to the problem.

    We at NHFC do not believe that banning bump stocks, magazines or firearms will make anyone safer. We do not agree that prohibiting the sale and ownership of anything is acceptable. We believe a better approach would be to repeal the 1986 ban on the sale of new machineguns to private citizens. This change will drive down the prices of machineguns and probably reduce demand for the so called bump fire stock. A true machinegun is safer than a bump fire stock because a shooter using a bump fire stock must allow the firearm to move back and forth to actuate the trigger for each shot. This reduces accuracy. A shooter using a real machinegun can hold the gun tight and squeeze the trigger. A capable shooter can “regulate” a machinegun and not empty the magazine with a single trigger pull. A capable shooter can place all rounds on target. This is far more difficult with a bump stock. A machinegun is safer than a bump stock.

    We also believe that federal law should be changed so that a machinegun is defined as a firearm that discharges more than 3 cartridges for a single pull of the trigger. This simple law change will remove M16A2 and similar burst fire firearms from the purview of the 1934 National Firearms Act.

    Far too many people start their thinking with a false premise: “No one needs a machine gun, so no one needs an accessory that will make a semi-automatic shoot almost as fast as a machine gun.”

    In a free society, that is an odd statement. Being free is not about what someone NEEDS (especially something that some legislator or nameless bureaucrat determines you NEED), but about what someone, a free person WANTS to own.

    As Chicago shows every day, gun control actually makes life more dangerous for the person who is being controlled. In Chicago they have as many murders each and every month as there were in that highly unusual event in Las Vegas. Yet, the gun controllers are as quiet as church mice about that, as it is proof positive that gun control fails to make anyone, except criminals, safer.

    One of the key principles that NHFC has always maintained is that gun control (including controls on parts and accessories) is worthless for stopping, or even lowering, crime. Gun control only infringes on the rights, safety, and security of good people, while handing a major tactical advantage to criminals or empowering political tyrants who wish to dominate a society.

    Criminal behavior should be aggressively prosecuted.

    And just when we thought things couldn’t be worse, Speaker Paul Ryan has decided to pull Hearing Protection Act from the House agenda. That’s right, Paul Ryan is siding with Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. We also have an unconfirmed report that Rep. Ryan is indefinitely postponing a vote on the Hudson Nationwide Concealed Carry Reciprocity bill. Last month a few reports came out that Speaker Ryan was looking for an excuse to kill that bill as well.

    Here is what you need to do to help, right now.

    Contact Speaker Ryan by clicking here. Let the Speaker know that the Second Amendment is non negotiable and you expect the bump stock ban to be defeated and the Hearing Protection Act and Nationwide Concealed Carry to pass the House without any further delays. The rights of the law abiding must not be restricted based on the actions of a criminal.

    Then, contact Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by clicking here. Senator McConnell needs to hear the same message. The Second Amendment is non negotiable and you expect the bump stock ban to be defeated and the Hearing Protection Act and Nationwide Concealed Carry to pass the Senate without any further delays. The rights of the law abiding must not be restricted based on the actions of a criminal.

    As a New Hampshire resident, click here to contact Senator Hassan and demand that she drop this idea of banning firearms accessories at once.

    Finally, click here to find contact information for your own State Representatives and Senators and let them know that you are opposed to any restrictions on firearms, magazines, parts or accessories in New Hampshire. Let them know you are especially opposed to the Shurtleff gun accessory ban!

    Thanks for your support!

    Ed Cutler
    Gun Owners of Vermont

  4. “Currently, the National Firearms Act allows gun owners to purchase a bump stock, and similar devices, for semiautomatic weapons, enabling them to fire at the same rate as automatic weapons.”

    The NFA has nothing whatsoever to do with bump-stocks and they do not enable a firearm to fire at the same rate as automatic weapons. They enable a person who is bump-firing a firearm to do so in a safer fashion and that is about it. Any center-fire semi-auto can be bump-fired by hand with no device. Overall as many other Vermonters have noted, it is rather pointless but it can be fun and there are many people who do in fact do it so between this and the opposition to suppressors one should really be asking why so-called gun-safety advocates are so dead set against devices that make the use of firearms safer. Rather contradictory and shows a few things. Either there is no actual intent for firearm safety from these people or they simply have no idea what they are talking about but simply want to control people.

    Also a ban on them while excluding law enforcement and the government is an absolute affront to the 2nd amendment. See the federalist papers regarding the amendment’s intent.

    Ultimately a ban on bump-stocks will in fact open up a ban on semi-automatic firearms as a whole because it is not the stock that enables the faster rate of fire, it is the persons muscle memory, practice and of course the semi-automatic firearm.

  5. Gun control is becoming a bigger issue for the Jackass Party as time progresses and quite a few of the RINO’s are getting a whiff of the 2018 primary season. People are realizing quickly that they have more to fear from the Government than they do from the run of the moll thugs.

    The GOP has lied all along and the Left never has America’s good as a goal.

    An unarmed citizen is just a slave.

Comments are closed.