Less than three weeks after Stephen Paddock used bump stocks in his massacre of 58 people in Las Vegas, a Republican running for governor in Georgia wants to give one away for free. In a statement, Georgia State Sen. Michael Williams says he'll give "a free bump stock to one lucky winner" to show "solidarity with gun owners across the nation" in defiance of "liberals and weak Republicans who wish to limit our freedoms," reports CNN. Some Republicans and Democrats have called for a ban on bump stocks, which increase the rate of fire for semi-automatic weapons, in the aftermath of Oct. 1. But while Williams says "the tragedy in Las Vegas broke my heart," he adds "there is zero evidence that banning bump stocks would prevent any gun violence deaths."
Though authorities say use of bump stocks increased the death toll in Las Vegas, Williams claims "many firearms experts determined the Las Vegas shooter’s use of a bump stock actually prevented more casualties and injuries due to its inconsistency, inaccuracy, and lack of control," per the Hill. When asked to clarify this statement, however, Williams' office only cited an opinion article that suggested Paddock's accuracy suffered, per CNN. Despite Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan referring to bump stock regulations as the "smartest, quickest fix," per USA Today, Williams says "mental health awareness" is actually what's needed. "Blaming guns or bump stocks for the actions of a lunatic, is the same as blaming McDonald's for heart disease," he says. (Read more Georgia stories.)