During a segment on Thursday's Situation Room, CNN displayed a graphic attempting to explain how bump fire stocks work but failed to include a bump fire stock in the animation despite including both a grenade launcher and silencer.
The segment with host Wolf Blitzer and CNN congressional correspondent Phil Mattingly focused on the politics surrounding a potential legislative ban on the devices in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, in which some of the shooter's firearms were equipped with the stocks. Bump firing is a shooting technique that utilizes the recoil of a firearm in order to assist the shooter in pulling the trigger on a semi-automatic firearm at a much faster rate than is possible with traditional shooting techniques. This is accomplished by a shooter placing his finger on the firearm's trigger without wrapping the rest of their shooting hand around the firearm's grip. The shooter applies forward pressure with his support hand in order to press the trigger of the firearm against the shooter's finger and fire the gun. This causes the gun to fire, producing recoil that, if the technique is done correctly, moves the firearm far enough rearward to reset the trigger. The continued forward pressure applied by the shooter's support hand causes the firearm's trigger to press against the shooter's finger and fire the gun again. The cycle then repeats itself.
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Though this technique can be done without the use of any modifications or accessories, bump fire stocks are intended to make it easier to achieve. The stocks are generally constructed of a single piece which replaces the firearm's pistol grip and stock. They are designed to allow that single piece to slide back and forth during firing. They allow the shooter to accomplish the bump firing technique while also wrapping their shooting hand around the firearm's grip. CNN's graphic showed a traditional pistol grip and stock on the firearm instead of a bump fire stock. The graphic also included a grenade launcher and silencer though neither of those devices were involved in the Las Vegas shooting.
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the use of the graphic.