What happened in Las Vegas is just evil. Sixty-four year old Stephen Paddock checked into the Mandalay Bay Hotel on the 32nd floor with multiple firearms and then proceeded to open fire on concertgoers below. Just recently Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said that the death toll has risen to 58, with another 515 injured. We know little about Paddock at this point. We don’t know his religious affiliation, his political leanings, or his belief system. That’s all being investigated. The claim that Paddock converted to Islam is unsubstantiated. He reportedly liked gambling. Fox News reported that Paddock “was known to local authorities.” Paddock’s brother was shocked by this event, saying his brother has no military background and was not an “avid gun guy at all.” When Paddock opened fire, concert attendees thought it was fireworks. Country singer Jason Aldean was the last performer during this music festival, which lasted three days.
“Not an avid gun guy at all...where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background,” gunman’s brother says pic.twitter.com/EMSKLQGYFM— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 2, 2017
Mr. Paddock was found dead on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, the police said, and authorities believe he committed suicide.
At least 10 guns were found in Mr. Paddock’s hotel room, including several rifles.
Mr. Paddock was a resident of Mesquite, Nev., about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas. Quinn Averett, a spokesman for the Mesquite police, said the department has had no previous contact with Mr. Paddock.
The Las Vegas police also had nothing more than a routine traffic violation on Mr. Paddock, according to Kevin McMahill, the department’s undersheriff.
The authorities searched Mr. Paddock’s home on Monday morning, finding guns and ammunition, Mr. Averett said.
A companion of Mr. Paddock’s was questioned by the Las Vegas police but was not believed to have been involved in the shooting.
Mr. Paddock’s brother, Eric Paddock, told CBS that the suspect had owned several handguns and possibly a long gun, adding that he was “dumbfounded” by the shooting.
He said that his brother sometimes gambled in Las Vegas and that he had last heard from him during Hurricane Irma, when the suspect checked in with relatives who lived in Florida.
The shooting began around 10:08 p.m. local time, the police said. The authorities estimated that 406 people were transported to hospitals. More than 22,000 people were at the concert.
Now, sadly, in the age of everything is political, media outlets are pushing the gun control angle. Newsweek decided to remind us that open and concealed carry are legal in Nevada. Yes, just like the vast majority of states. In fact, all 50 states have some sort of carry rights for firearms. But here we are with the machine gun argument. Yes, machine guns are legal in Nevada if registered. This information is widely available, though the news media has often equated semi-automatic firearms (one round per trigger pull) with automatic ones (many rounds per trigger pull). How many times have we heard the calls for a ban on semi-automatic weapons, which is in essence a gun ban and therefore unconstitutional? Many—there have been many times. Now, let’s get something straight about this machine gun business.
Yes, any automatic firearm that was bought, imported, and registered before 1986 is legal to own or be transferred. The sale of new automatic weapons post-1986 is banned. All of this is regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934, which passed after a spike in gang violence. The infamous St. Valentines Day Massacre was its impetus.
There is an application process for the NFA tax stamp, which allows you to transfer or own a legal NFA-regulated firearm. There is a fee. There is a database from which your information on your registered firearm is stored that’s maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. And everyone who wants an NFA-regulated firearm goes through a background check process that can take months, possibly over a year. Fingerprints are also taken. Items that are regulated are short-barreled rifles, short-barred shotguns, machine guns, or any suppressors for a firearm. If your application is approved, your registration document must be readily available in case you need to provide that information to federal authorities. The Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski and National Review’s Charles Cooke also had good threads on social media explaining the process; Gutowski also noted the extreme cost of buying NFA-regulated firearms. It’s not for the average gun owner, folks. These guns, and I’ve seen a few of them, are well into the tens of thousands of dollars.
If true, big departure. Full auto costs $10,000+, requires deep FBI check; legal autos used 3 crimes since ‘34. (1) https://t.co/lVjkKwGGTV— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) October 2, 2017
Under Hughes Amendment, only autos made/imported pre-’86 can be transferred. This raises price massively. Would imply careful planning. (2)— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) October 2, 2017
First, the sale of new fully-automatic firearms was effectively banned in 1986 under the Hughes Amendment. https://t.co/la0nHvpyyq— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) October 2, 2017
Fully-automatic firearms that were registered under the National Firearms Act before 1986 were grandfathered in & are still legal.— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) October 2, 2017
However, in order to obtain a legal fully-automatic firearm you must apply to the ATF, pay a $200 tax, & register with the ATF.— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) October 2, 2017
The ATF has a registry of every legally-owned full-auto firearm & informs local law enforcement of all who own them in their jurisdiction.— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) October 2, 2017
Fingerprints and photographs are required to be submitted along with your registration application.— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) October 2, 2017
The video footage does sound like Paddock had automatic weapons in his possession, but that’s all. It’s still unknown what exact firearm(s) he used. Yet, we knew where this was going to go with the liberal news media, Hollywood, and the anti-gun Left. Machine guns pre-1986 are legal, heavily regulated, and might not even be the issue. Maybe Paddock tweaked a semi-automatic firearm to fire automatically, which is also very illegal. Just now, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) decided to say Paddock definitively used automatic weapons. In a statement, he said, “Automatic weapons aren't needed to hunt deer or ducks; they're meant to kill people – and they do far too often in this country.” First of all, we, again, we don’t know what firearm he used. Second, machine guns are not common in America. I don’t know what will come of this politically. New gun control legislation is already DOA on the Hill, but the commentaries from the gun control crowd will probably be intense, concerted, and wrong as ever. Just remember, automatic weapons made and owned before 1986 are legal. The federal government heavily regulates them. And this may not even be a NFA issue.
Odd choice to put this out before the type of weapon has been announced and without any mention of existing law. https://t.co/xoNpOVrece— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) October 2, 2017