On its "frequently asked questions" page, Cottle's company notes that the technology has stood the test of time.
"By definition, the SSAR-15 and our other products are not adjustable stocks or trigger manipulation devices," the site says. "Slide Fire has not been notified by any individual state that our products conflict with any state laws."
California and New York officials do see a conflict.
"New York has long had a prohibition on machine guns and any weapons capable of automatic, or rapid fire," Rich Azzopardi, a spokesman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, told the AP. "This clearly includes firearms modified with one of these devices."
Michelle Gregory, spokeswoman for the California Department of Justice, says bump stocks would be considered illegal "multi-burst trigger activators" under state law — although that interpretation has yet to be tested in court.
And as Florida inventor William Akins can attest, a letter from the ATF is no guarantee.
In 2000, Akins was granted a patent for a "Method and Apparatus for Accelerating the Cyclic Firing Rate of a Semi-Automatic Firearm." The "Akins Accelerator" included a spring-loaded stock that, when decompressed, shoved the receiver forward again.
ATF wrote two letters approving the device, but later rescinded them. Akins challenged the decision in court, but lost, and legal expenses and business losses forced him to abandon the venture. But he designed a new type of bump stock without a spring, and licensed it to Indiana-based FosTecH Outdoors, LLC, whose aluminum "DefendAR-15" and "Bumpski" stocks "simulate the discharge of automatic firearms."
That company is currently suing Cottle's in federal court for patent infringement. Akins backs that contention, but is equally concerned with what he sees as Feinstein's attempted infringement on the constitutional right to bear arms.
"They quite literally make it up as they go along," he says of the senator and ATF. "Why is it that if it fires faster, suddenly that changes the intent of someone who owns it from being a legal, law-abiding citizen to someone that has a killing machine that they're going to use?"
Slide Fire Solutions: http://www.slidefire.com/
Breed reported from Bunnlevel, and Geller from New York. Associated Press writer Don Thompson also contributed from Sacramento, Calif. Follow Breed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/(hash)!/AllenGBreed
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