By Miriam Raftery
October 10, 2017 (Las Vegas) – A class action lawsuit has been filed against Slide Fire Solutions, LP, manufacturer of the bump stock device used by the mass shooter in Las Vegas to convert a semi-automatic weapon to “functional equivalent of a machine gun, thereby evading longstanding federal law,” according to a press release issued by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
The suit was filed by the law firm Eglet Prince and the Brady Center on behalf of “all of the festival goers who suffered emotional distress” due to the shooting which killed 58 victims and injured over 500 more. Many other people were traumatized by the experience during one of the deadliest mass public shootings in U.S. history.
The suit seeks both actual costs of counseling and emotional distress treatment as well as punitive damages. It alleges that Slide Fire was negligent in marketing bump stocks to the public without reasonable restrictions, adding, “This horrific assault would and could not have occurred, with a conventional handgun, rifle, or shotgun, of the sort used by law-abiding responsible gun owners for hunting or self-defense.”
Fully automatic weapons have been illegal for over 80 years in the U.S. Yet the bump stock enabled the Vegas shooter to wreak mass carnage in just 11 minutes.
Slide Fire, in a 2010 letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms Explosives (ATF) claimed bump stocks were meant to help “persons whose hands have limited mobility.” But according to the release, Slide Fire’s inventor of the bump stock, Jeremiah Cottle, stated in a 2016 interview with AmmoLand that the device targeted “people like me, who love full auto.”
Bump stock sales made over $10 million for Slide Fire in 2010 gross profits, enabling buyers to convert a semi-automatic to, in essence, an automatic weapon at a fraction of the cost of a black market automatic rifle, if one could be obtained at all.
Slide Fire has suspended new orders of the device, its website states today.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is named for James Brady, White House Secretary to President Ronald Reagan who suffered a brain injury when he was struck by a bullet during an assassination attempt on the President. The Brady Center has obtained or helped obtain over $80 million in verdicts and settlements against gun companies on behalf of victims over the last 25 years.
East County Magazine asked Bump Stock for comments, but did not receive a reply.