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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, April 20, 2018 @ 6:17 PM
— A wallet lost in 1972 has been found by a work crew in Wenatchee who is updating part of the Wentachee, Washington, pool facility.
Wenatchee World says the wallet, owned by Harry LaRue, contains some family pictures, and a Boy Scout Card. The World says it estimates that LaRue was about 10 when he lost the wallet and that he lived in East Wenatchee.
The wallet was found behind the boys’ lockers at the city pool by a city crew who was updating the changing room.
A reporter from the World tried to find LaRue, but has been unable to.
After seeing the World's Facebook post, someone who knows a man by the same name said she contacted him and he was calling the city, who has the wallet.
Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 10:20 AM
HOUSTON — Approximately 1,500 guests are expected to attend former first lady Barbara Bush's funeral in Houston Saturday.
Barbara Bush, the wife of the nation’s 41st president and mother of the nation’s 43rd, died Tuesday at her Houston home. She was 92.
About 2,500 mourners paid their respect at a public viewing held Friday in Houston, The Associated Press reported.
The service will take place at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston. Jeb Bush will deliver a eulogy for his mother. Longtime friend Susan Baker and historian Jon Meacham will also speak during the 90-minute service and musical selections will be performed, The AP reported. A procession will follow, with burial at the Bush Library at Texas A&M University. The procession will go through Houston’s Memorial Park, which was beloved by the Bushes. Barbara Bush will be buried next to her daughter, Robin, who was 3 years old when she died of leukemia in 1953, The AP reported.
Notable guests will include first lady Melania Trump, former President Bill Clinton, former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, The AP reported.
Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 5:42 PM
— The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its warning to include all types of romaine lettuce. The warning now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, in addition to chopped romaine and salads and salad mixes containing romaine.
The CDC also asks consumers to “not buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.”
Additionally, the CDC suggests that consumers throw away any romaine lettuce in the home, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.
At least 31 people have been hospitalized, including three who developed a type of kidney failure, according to the CDC.
No deaths related to the outbreak have been reported.
The CDC has not yet identified the grower or a common brand, and is urging people not to eat chopped lettuce from the Yuma area.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection vary, but often include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Most people get better in five to seven days. Infections can be mild, but can also be severe and even life-threatening.
People started reporting illnesses that are part of the outbreak between March 22 and March 31.
DNA fingerprinting is being used to identify illnesses that are part of the same outbreak. Some people might not be included in the CDC’s case count if officials weren’t able to get bacteria strains needed for DNA fingerprinting to link them to the outbreak.
To reduce your risk of an E. coli infection, you can:
Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 11:49 PM
ATLANTA — A man convicted of murder Friday left a courthouse in Atlanta, before the verdict could be read.
Verlaine Laguerre, 26, was found guilty in the killing of Matthew Hardeman, who was 19 at the time of his death.
After a long legal battle, Laguerre and Prentice Baker were convicted of Hardeman’s murder Friday and sentenced to life in prison, plus five years. But Laguerre didn't show up to hear the verdict.
“I was just fearful. Just fearful. I just said, ‘Lord have mercy,’” Gloria Hardeman said.
She said that she still has faith that the system will bring complete justice for her and her family.
“I hope the system continues to work to capture him, that he won’t do no harm to himself or nobody else,” Hardeman said.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said Laguerre's whereabouts are unknown at this time and he is considered a fugitive.
After so many years of waiting, Hardeman said she will have to wait a little longer to see the man who killed her son behind bars where he belongs.
“It’s been a long time. Praying and crying. Praying and crying, but like I say, we held on,” Hardeman said.
On Oct. 15, 2011, Hardeman and Laguerre got into a physical fistfight outside Hardeman’s Lakewood Terrace home in southeast Atlanta.
Police said it all started because of "dirty looks" between the two. At the end of the fist fight, Laguerre took off, telling Hardeman he was coming back with his "red eye," referring to his gun.
Shortly after the fight, Laguerre came back with his accomplice, Prentice Baker. When Hardeman appeared, Baker opened fire, hitting him multiple times. Laguerre also shot Hardeman with an assault rifle. Police say a third man, who hasn't been identified yet, also fired shots. In total, Hardeman was shot 50 times. His family found him dead in the front yard of their home.
“He wasn’t just but 19, and he hadn’t begun to start his life, and it’s hurting me dearly," Gloria Hardeman said Friday night.
Matthew Hardeman made a name for himself as a high school football star at Avondale High School in DeKalb County. He then went to Cal State Fullerton on a football scholarship.