A Key Largo man already facing felony charges over accusations he pointed a handgun at a group of people riding on a golf cart in his condo complex in May now faces an additional charge of owning a bump stock, a device that allows a semiautomatic rifle to rapidly fire almost like a fully automatic weapon.
The U.S. Justice Department reclassified bump stocks in December 2018 to fall in line with its definition of “machine gun,” basically making the ownership of the devices illegal. The Florida Legislature passed a law that same year making ownership of bump stocks a third-degree felony.
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies found Jorge Poo, 69, owned an AR-15 rifle with a bump stock affixed to it on May 12, according to his arrest report.
They went to his house to collect his weapons after he was arrested on aggravated battery with a deadly weapon based on the May 1 incident when cops say he pointed a .380 pistol at the people on the golf cart in the Buttonwood Bay condo complex.
After confiscating the rifle, the sheriff’s office contacted the ATF, but the agency decided this month not to pursue the case. The Monroe County State Attorney’s Office opted this week to file state charges, however, and deputies arrested Poo on a felony weapons warrant Thursday, sheriff’s office spokesman Adam Linhardt said.
Bump stocks are plastic devices attached to the rifle’s stock that make the trigger pull faster by harnessing the gun’s recoil.
Calls to ban them came from even many staunch pro-gun owners’ rights advocates after a man in Las Vegas attached one to several of his rifles in October 2017, killing 58 people from his perch in a high-rise hotel room.
The bump stock allowed him to fire more than 1,000 bullets in about 11 minutes.
Poo was released from county jail Thursday afternoon on a bond of $25,000. Calls to the cellphone number included on his arrest report went to a message stating the person owning the phone could not receive calls “at this time.”