Due to crafty engineering, Texas-based gun manufacturer, Slide Fire, has found a way to produce an AR-15 assault rifle that replicates an automatic fire rate, the weapon also has belt-feed capabilities. Despite some questioning the legality of the rifle, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms said that the weapon is still “technically a semiautomatic,” therefore, still legal.
There are four main parts to an assault rifle: the barrel, the receiver, the stock, and the magazine. However, the ATF only considers the receiver of the rifle a “firearm” because that’s the part carrying the rifle’s serial and requires a background check upon purchase. Slide Fire’s modification doesn’t come in the receiver, but in the stock, which is called the “bump-stock.”
The “bump-stock” harnesses the force of the rifle’s recoil which quickens the succession of the semiautomatic fire rate. Despite the rifle’s fire rate matching that of an automatic weapon, there is still technically one trigger pull for each individual shot, which is how the ATF determines semiautomatic from automatic fire.
“We find that the ‘bump-stock’ is a firearm part and is not regulated as firearm under the Gun Control Act or the National Firearms act,” the ATF said in a letter that Slide Fire posted to its website.
This rifle will surely draw a harsh reaction from gun control supporters, calling for mandates to have the new AR-15, which is essentially an automatic rifle, to be removed from shelves. To successfully have the gun recalled, the ATF needs to be pushed and convinced to rewrite its definition of an “automatic” weapon.