State bump stock buybacks hit $150K as ban becomes official
One thousand bump stocks were turned into Washington State Patrol as part of the state’s recently implemented buyback program. The result saw WSP rip through every penny of its $150,00 budget for the initiative in just a couple weeks.
The buyback program was put into place ahead of a national ban on bump stocks that kicked in Tuesday. Each bump stock turned in netted a check for $150. With that budget exhausted — and the ban officially in place — any that remain will have to be surrendered or destroyed.
“They (are) illegal to manufacture, transport, or possess,” said WSP spokesman Chris Loftis. “People are expected to either destroy them, or to take them to any lawn enforcement office — federal, state, or local — and turn them in.”
The program — that ran March 17-18 and March 24-25 — was in response to a recently-passed bill in the state Senate.
SB 5954, sponsored by Senator Christine Rolfes (D-23rd Dist.) and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee, allowed Washington state residents to trade in up to five bump stocks for payment ahead of the federal ban.
Bump stocks are devices capable of converting semi-automatic rifles to machine guns. They were banned after a 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 59 people.
Because they’re not licensed in any way, there’s no way to fully assess the amount currently in circulation. That said, getting caught with one after Tuesday will incur serious federal charges.
“Any time you’re talking about a federal weapons charge, you can imagine the penalties will be quite high,” said Loftis.