Photos of two of the AR’s used by Stephen Paddock to shoot at a concert crowd assembled below the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas Sunday night have emerged. From dailymail.co.uk: “The photos, obtained by Boston 25, show two semi-automatic weapons, with one having a ‘bump stock‘ added to make it fully automatic. Fully-automatic weapons allow the shooter to unleash bullet after bullet simply by holding down the trigger.” . . .
With that weapon, Paddock would have been capable of firing hundreds of rounds per minute into the crowd. That gun also had an over-sized magazine attached so he wouldn’t have to pause to refill ammunition as often.
The other weapon has branding showing that it was made by Daniel Defense, a Savannah, Georgia-based company which produces variants of the AR-15 rifle, originally created for the American military. That weapon also has a bi-pod attached for stability and a telescopic lens for accuracy.
In the two pictures, the guns are seen laid out on the bed in Paddock’s hotel room. One of the rifles is seen next to a full magazine, dozens of spent bullets and a hammer – which the 64-year-old shooter allegedly used to shatter two windows in the room, which he then used to fire out of onto the crowd below.
The bumpfire stock on the Daniel Defense rifle in the photo above would account for the “automatic” gunfire heard in videos of the shooting. And given the typical journalist’s knowledge (or lack thereof) of firearms, reports of rifles on “tripods” were probably referring to bipod-equipped AR’s.
These are the only two firearms to have been positively identified from yesterday’s shooting so far. More details, including a full inventory of what was in that hotel room, will surely be revealed in time. Will there now be a push to outlaw bumpfire and other “work-around” solutions that simulate fully automatic fire? That seems a good bet.