MORAN, Texas (CBS11) - Seven years ago, Jeremiah Cottle, a retired Air Force veteran who was recovering from a pair of brain injuries he suffered in the military, came up with a device that enables a semiautomatic rifle to fire faster.
Today, that device called a bump stock, has come under heavy criticism after it became known Stephen Paddock had bump stocks on twelve of his rifles when fired down onto a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas killing 58 people.
Red-eyed and visibly upset, Cottle told the CBS11 I-Team from outside his business in Moran, Texas he has shed many tears since learning of Sunday's shooting.
Cottle declined an interview but told the CBS11 I-Team he was "heartbroken" about what took place in Las Vegas and realizes how non-gun enthusiasts may not fully understand why he invented the bump stock.
He said he came up with the idea for a bump stock solely for recreational purposes, after he and his friends were out shooting one day and weren't able to fire as fast as they wanted.
In his first year of business in 2010, Slide Fire Solutions exceeded $10 million in sales, according to a 2011 published report in The Albany Times.
Slide Fire Solutions is now one of the largest employers in Cottle's small West Texas hometown of Moran, where the population is 270.
"When he (Cottle) put Slide Fire in this town it gave a lot of people jobs that didn't have anywhere else to go," Moran resident Amy Boyett said.
Boyett, who runs the U.S. Post Office in Moran, said half of her business is from Slide Fire Solutions.
Many in the small Texas town said they're not sure Moran would still exist if Slide Fire Solutions closed.
In 2010, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent Slide Fire Solutions a letter, which the company posted on its website, writing that because a bump stock was not a firearm, it would not be regulated.
The week, The National Rifle Association called on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to immediately review whether bump stocks comply with federal law.
Posted on Slide Fire Solution's website is the following statement: "We have decided to temporarily suspend taking new orders in order to provide the best service with those already placed."
Cottle told the CBS11 I-Team this doesn't mean he's stopping operations but said he just needs some time to take in everything that has happened this week.
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