Hochul Called Out For Lying About Bump Stock Use in Buffalo Shooting

AP Photo/Hans Pennink

There's been no shortage of gun control fans who've been grandstanding over the Supreme Court's decision declaring the ATF's ban on bump stocks null and void. Connecticut senator Chris Murphy claims the Supreme Court is trying to "rewrite the Second Amendment", while the executive director of Giffords contends that the Court has "essentially legalized" machine guns. 


Perhaps the most despicable reaction of all, however, came from New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who blatantly lied about the use of a bump stock in the 2022 shootings at a Buffalo grocery store in her response to the Court's ruling. 

Hochul, a Democrat, made the error first in a statement emailed to media and posted on a state website Friday, then later in post on X that has since been deleted.

She incorrectly said that the white supremacist who killed 10 Black people at a supermarket in Buffalo in 2022 used a bump stock. In the shooting, the gunman modified a legally purchased semiautomatic rifle so he could use illegal high-capacity ammunition magazines, but he did not use a bump stock to make the weapon fire at a faster rate

“Exactly one month ago, we marked the anniversary of the deadly Buffalo massacre — the horrific day when a hate-fueled gunman murdered ten of our neighbors, using a bump stock to transform his firearm into an even deadlier weapon," Hochul's emailed statement read. She added that the Supreme Court decision was “a sad day for the families who have lost loved ones in mass shootings."

Her now-deleted post on X said "a man using a bump stock killed 10 of our neighbors in Buffalo.”

Now, Hochul didn't write that statement herself, though if she didn't approve it before it was released to the press that's on her. The governor's press office came up with the original and fictitious statement, which was then amplified on social media before being called out by scores of gun owners. Either no one in Hochul's office ever bothered to determine if what they wrote was truthful... or maybe they just didn't care if they were caught in a lie. 


Asked by The Associated Press about the error, a spokesperson for the governor, Maggie Halley, emailed a statement saying Hochul "was intending to generally call out dangerous, illegal modifications of weapons that have no civilian purpose and are intended to inflict mass casualties, such as bump stocks and modifications of a magazine."

If that was really her intent then she and her staff are utterly incompetent. She could have released a statement that suggested the Tops grocery store shootings would have been even worse if the killer had used a bump-stock equipped rifle, but because New York had already banned the devices lives were saved. I think she still would have been wrong, but she'd at least have been offering opinion and speculation instead of falsely asserting something that just wasn't true. 

The Supreme Court issued a decision she doesn't like, and her first impulse (or at least those of her communications team) was to shamelessly exploit the murders in Buffalo for pure partisan politics. Even when she was called out by the AP for her fictitious statement (in itself somewhat of a surprise) she and her team couldn't admit they screwed up. Instead, she offered nothing more than anti-gun bloviations about "illegal" modifications that the Supreme Court just said aren't illegal, at least under federal law. 


There's a lot of stiff competition for the country's most anti-gun governor. If it weren't for Gavin Newsom then Hochul would be at the top of my list; not only for the civil rights abuses that she's responsible for, but her utterly unhinged rhetoric when it comes to our right to keep and bear arms. I'm glad to see at least one media outlet is calling out her latest lie, but I doubt that's going to stop her from further fabrications in the future.  


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