The Bump Stock Inventor Is Shutting His Business Down
Bump stock manufacturer Slide Fire Solutions will stop taking orders and shut down its website next month. The closure comes after months of scrutiny caused by the use of a bump stock—an accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire at the rate of an automatic—in the October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, the deadliest in modern American history.
A lawyer for Slide Fire did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Bump stocks have never been more than niche firearms accessory, although Slide Fire’s sales exceeded $10 million its first year of business. The founder of the company, Jeremiah Cottle, patented the design and defended it in court numerous times, alleging competitors infringed on Slide Fire’s patents. “I built something, and a madman is taking it all away,” Cottle told Bloomberg Businessweek following the Las Vegas shooting.
President Donald Trump backed a bump stock ban following the attack; Attorney General Jeff Sessions formally proposed such a ban in late March. At the moment, however, shoppers can still purchase bump stocks from Slide Fire and on firearms resale websites such as Gun Broker.
The end of its business on May 20, which Slide Fire announced in a statement on its website, comes as the company faces litigation related to the Las Vegas attack. A lawsuit filed in Clark County District Court alleges that Slide Fire, along with unidentified bump stock makers and retailers, behaved negligently by producing and selling the devices. The plaintiffs in the case, Devon Prescott, Brooke Freeman and Tasaneeporn Upright, are survivors of the shooting and are seeking class-action status.
“Whether it was our lawsuit, business realities, or the impending federal regulation against bump stocks that led to this decision, we don’t know yet,” said Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Center, which is representing the plaintiffs alongside the Las Vegas law firm Eglet Prince. “I’m sure in the lawsuit, we’ll learn more about their announcement about closing their website and what they plan to do with their assets.”