log in to manage your profile and account
- Create your account
- Receive up-to-date newsletters
- Set up text alerts
Published: Tuesday, October 03, 2017 @ 11:45 AM
— According to law enforcement authorities Monday, the man who killed 59 concertgoers had a dozen devices that could have converted semi-automatic firearms into weapons that fire at a rate close to a fully automatic one.
Police told The Associated Press they found 12 “bump stocks” when they searched the room of shooter Stephen Paddock. They said they are not sure Paddock used the devices in the attack on people at the Highway 91 Harvest country music festival Sunday. Paddock fired at an area some 400 yards away from his hotel room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel located on the Las Vegas Strip.
What is a bump stock and how does it work? Here’s a look at the device.
What is a bump stock?
A bump stock replaces the weapon’s gunstock (the part of a rifle to which the barrel and firing mechanism are attached). The bump stock has a "support step" that covers the trigger opening.
How does it work?
The bump stock works when the shooter holds the pistol grip with one hand and the barrel of the gun with the other. The support step holds a person’s finger in place when the gun is fired.
A spring mechanism in a bump stock causes the rifle to bounce forward with every shot. The recoil of the gun pushes it back “bumping” the shooter’s finger causing it to continuously push on the trigger, potentially allowing the weapon to fire in a rapid sequence.
Is it legal to own?
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives have sent letters to two manufacturers of bump stocks, according to an article in Popular Mechanics, saying the device is legal partly because they “[perform] no automatic function when installed."
While the device can make a weapon fire many rounds in a short period of time, it does not technically make a rifle an automatic weapon. To be an automatic weapon, a rifle must be able to fire continuously by having the shooter press the trigger once.
With bump stocks, a shooter’s finger actually bumps against the trigger to fire the weapon.
How hard is it to get an automatic weapon?
Semi-automatic weapons are relatively easy to purchase. However, the only automatic weapons legal to purchase for civilians in the United States are the ones that have been registered between 1934 and 1986. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, an automatic weapon is considered a machine gun. No new machine guns can be made or sold to civilians. Automatic weapons have been heavily regulated since the National Firearms Act of 1934.
Taking possession of such weapons requires paying a $200 federal transfer tax, filling out an application to register the weapon, submitting passport photos, getting your chief law enforcement official to sign your application, and submitting to an FBI background and fingerprint check. Those weapons are hard to come by and generally pretty expensive. You do not want to violate the Firearms Act. If you do, expect to sit in prison for 10 years as you figure out how to pay the $100,000 fine.
A semi-automatic weapon can be converted into an automatic weapon with some devices, or by altering the gun in certain ways. It is illegal to make the gun into an automatic weapon.
Paddock had 23 guns with him at the hotel, along with 12 bump stock devices according to the Associated Press.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 10:47 PM
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — He may have started from the bottom, but rapper Drake is making headlines after doing one dance that started in the Bluff City.
According to party promoter Curtis Givens, the Grammy winner called him wanting to have a private party at In LOVE Memphis, a popular nightclub.
Givens said it was a last minute call, but he and his business partner were up for the challenge.
Shout out to @champagnepapi! Call me at 8:33pm wanting to have a private party at Love at the last minute. @peppa_mouthofthasouth and I put it together and there it is. Great times with great people. #aintnopartylikeacurtisgivensparty #curtisgivens #flyishonly #wearegettingreadyforfeb9th #curtisgivensbirthdaycelebration #getyourflyright
As word quickly spread that Drake was in Memphis, videos started to popping up on social media.
He was seen doing the popular "shoot" dance made famous by Memphis rapper BlocBoy JB.
Drake even previewed new music during his appearance at the club.
He also made a stop at Friday night's Grizzlies game against the Sacramento Kings.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 7:15 PM
— Tom Petty died from an accidental drug overdose after taking a variety of medications, the family for the legendary rock star said Friday.
Petty, who suffered emphysema, knee problems and more recently a fractured hip, was prescribed various pain medications including Fentanyl patches, his family said.
“On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication,” his family wrote on Facebook.
The family called Petty’s Oct. 2 death an unfortunate accident.
“As a family we recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives. Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications.”
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 9:54 PM
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A woman died Friday after falling from the balcony of a room on the Jacksonville-based Carnival Elation cruise ship.
The woman fell from the balcony to several decks below, Carnival said in a statement.
Carnival Elation departed Jacksonville on Thursday for a four-day cruise to the Bahamas.
Carnival sent the following statement to Action News Jax:
"Early this morning a guest fell from her balcony to several decks below. The ship’s medical team responded immediately, but, unfortunately, she passed away. The incident was reported to all proper authorities and CARE Team support was offered to fellow travelers and her family. Our thoughts and prayers are with the deceased and her family. Carnival Elation departed Jacksonville Jan. 18 on a four-day cruise to the Bahamas."
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 9:09 PM
— Deer across North America are dying from a mysterious disease that gradually destroys the animals’ nervous systems.
And scientists are concerned that the infection could make its way to humans.
Chronic wasting disease — or “zombie deer disease” — was first observed in 1967 in Fort Collins, Colorado, and has since infected wild herds in 24 states and Canada, as well as in South Korea and Norway, NPR reported.
“CWD passes from animal to animal through prions, misfolded proteins that cause other proteins to misfold around them,” NPR reported. “Different prion diseases tend to only harm certain species, but can evolve to overcome those limitations.”
In some herds, as many as half of the animals carry prions.
But direct contact isn’t the only way prions are transmitted. According to The New York Times, sick animals and cadavers can spread prions through plants and soil, which could be coated with deformed proteins for years, perhaps even decades.
An animal infected with the disease can live two years before signs of symptoms -- such as a vacant stare, thick saliva, exposed ribs or drooping heads -- become visible.
There have been no reported human illnesses due to the disease, and scientists don’t have conclusive evidence that infected meat has ever harmed people, suggesting there is a “species barrier” between humans and deer.
Researchers led by Mark Zabel, associate director at Colorado State University’s Prion Research Center, found that macaque monkeys who ate infected deer contracted the disease, the first time the disease was shown to spread to a primate through meat.
"While most research shows there's a robust species barrier, this recent study showed that barrier might not be quite as robust as we once thought," Matt Dunfee, head of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliancein Fort Collins, Colorado, told NPR.
Zabel and his team also found that the prions involved in the “zombie disease,” which scientists have only known about for 50 years, are probably still evolving, “which leads us to believe it's only a matter of time before a prion emerges that can spread to humans,” NPR reported.
Mad cow disease, for example, is a prion disease that evolved from scrapie, a deadly disease that afflicts sheep. Once the prions were passed to cows, the cows developed a prion disease of their own (mad cow disease). And when humans ate the beef from those sick cows, they developed prions in their own brains. As of 2016, according to the Food and Drug Administration, 231 people had died from the condition.
Zabel believes the only way to get rid of CWD prions is to set controlled fires. But “there’s a lot that we still don’t know and don’t understand about the disease,” Zabel said in an interview with The New York Times.
According to Michael Miller, senior wildlife veterinarian for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, mule deer transmission more than tripled toward the end of 2017, and CWD continues to be prevalent in Colorado.
Public health officials in the area have been monitoring for CWD and human brain-wasting diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
But over the past 21 years, rising rates of both diseases haven’t impacted human health.
Still, as a precaution, Dunfee told NPR, "if you are hunting in an area where CWD is found, have your animal tested. If it comes back positive, don't eat the meat."