On October 1, 2017, a gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay hotel onto an outdoor music festival below. Before the carnage was over, 60 people were dead and at least 413 were wounded. Stephen Paddock, a 64 year old man from Nevada was responsible for the shooting. He killed himself shortly before the police gained access to his hotel room. Paddock was a accountant and real estate entrepreneur with a serious drinking and gambling problem. Months of investigation by federal and local law enforcement could not determine a clear motivation for the shooting. He had no criminal history, but was the son of a bank robber who had been on the FBI’s Most Wanted List while on the lam from 1969-1977.
Paddock used a device called a “bump stock” during the shooting. This device manipulated the firearm to use the recoil of a semiautomatic gun to engage the trigger again, creating a rate of fire similar to a fully automatic firearm. These devices were outlawed shortly after the shooting. The device was included in the legal definition of a machine gun in federal law, making them illegal in almost all circumstances.