(CBS) — As lawmakers take up the issue of “bump stocks” — the devices that make semiautomatic weapons fire more like fully automatic weapons – the ATF isn’t taking a position, a former agent notes.

WBBM’s Mike Krauser reports.

Even the NRA suggests the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives should evaluate the devices, which don’t seem to be selling a lot in the Chicago area.

They are selling well elsewhere, says Tom Ahern, retired ATF special agent.

“The bump stocks are selling very, very quickly, because folks feel that if tighter gun control laws are enacted they won’t be able to get them, so they’re buying them up nationwide,” Ahern says.

The ATF isn’t taking a position on bump stocks because the products are not actually firearms, he explains.

Automatic weapons are. They were manufactured for war, Ahern says.

“Fully automatic weapons in an urban environment are very, very dangerous, especially in the hands of the wrong people. They’re difficult to control because they do fire so rapidly,” he says.

The Las Vegas shooter was reported to have had 12 bump stocks on his weapons.

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