Employees of a North Las Vegas gun store where a gunman, who mowed down concertgoers from a hotel tower, bought firearms earlier this year have been receiving hate mail and threats, according to the business.
“All state and federal requirements were met” before the purchases were made, said David Famiglietti, president of New Frontier Armory in a news release.
“My entire staff takes their job very seriously and if there were any ‘red flags’ during this transaction, like any other, it would have been halted immediately,” he said, adding that the store and the clerk who helped Stephen Paddock, 64, with the purchase were cooperating with local and federal authorities.
Jill Snyder, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ San Francisco Division, said Tuesday that Paddock purchased firearms in Nevada, Utah, California in Texas.
Investigators found 23 of those weapons in the two-story, 32nd floor suite Paddock had at Mandalay Bay and where he fired hundreds of rounds, killing at least 58 people and wounding hundreds — in 11 minutes and with about a dozen volleys — Sunday night.
Search warrants served in houses he owned in Mesquite and Reno netted an additional 26 firearms, police said. Investigators also found a “plethora” of ammunition, as well as electronics and explosive materials, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said. The weapons he owned were rifles, shotguns and pistols.
A dozen of the rifles found in the hotel room had “bump-fire stocks,” which can make a firearm mimic a fully automatic weapon, Snyder said.
The device basically replaces the gun’s shoulder rest with a “support step” that covers the trigger opening.
By holding the pistol grip with one hand and pushing forward on the barrel with the other, the shooter’s finger comes in contact with the trigger. The recoil then causes the gun to buck back and forth, repeatedly “bumping” the trigger against the finger.
Technically, that means the finger is pulling the trigger for each round fired, keeping the weapon a legal semi-automatic. The rapid fire does not necessarily make the weapon any more lethal — much of that would be dependent on the type of ammunition used. But it does allow the person firing the weapon to get off more shots more quickly.
As long as the stocks don’t alter the firearm, they’re legal under current federal law, Snyder said. Investigators were examining the weapons and working to determine which ones were used in the massacre, she said.
The firearms that he purchased did not leave our store capable of what we’ve seen and heard in the video without modification. They were not fully automatic firearms, nor were they modified in any way (legally or illegally) when they were purchased from us,” New Frontier Armory’s Famiglietti said.
“We send our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of those who have fallen, and our best wishes during recovery to those who were injured,” he said.
About Paddock, Famiglietti told the New York Times that it appeared he had an interest in competitive shooting and had asked the clerk questions about shooting matches. “He just seemed like a normal guy,” Famiglietti told the newspaper.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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