Crime

Have a bump stock for your weapon? State will buy it from you

‘Bump stock:’ Watch a demonstration and learn how the gun device works

Deadly shootings bring to light use of "bump stocks,” which allow a semi-automatic rifle to mimic a fully automatic ones. Critics say that the device disregards current federal restrictions on automatic guns, but a gun store owner in Texas disagrees.
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Deadly shootings bring to light use of "bump stocks,” which allow a semi-automatic rifle to mimic a fully automatic ones. Critics say that the device disregards current federal restrictions on automatic guns, but a gun store owner in Texas disagrees.

If you’re looking to cash in on the state’s bump stock buyback program, you better be quick.

The state Legislature set aside $150,000 to encourage people to turn in the devices before federal law makes them illegal on March 26. Washington State Patrol offices across the state will open their doors to facilitate the program.

People can stop in at the Kennewick office on 143302 E. Law Lane between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday and Monday to turn them in for a $150 voucher. The limit is five per person.

They also can hand them in at a local police station or to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and get a receipt.

In either case, the person will receive a voucher for $150 per bump stock. The WSP will mail a check for those who have the vouchers.

The only catch is that once the money is gone, the program is done, meaning the state has money for 1,000 bump stocks.

Chris Loftis, with the State Patrol, said they don’t know how many bump stocks are in the state or how many people will volunteer to turn them over.

“It’s not like you’re licensing these like a weapon,” he said. “We simply don’t know how many are out there.”

Several reports state there were about half a million sold nationwide since 2010.

People need to have a current Washington identification and have a valid mailing address.

Bump stocks allow continuous firing of weapon

The state Legislature was forced to approve the program quicker than it originally had intended because of the impending federal deadline. The state previously banned selling the devices.

Bump stocks — typically sliding butt stocks fitted as aftermarket modifications — allow a semiautomatic rifle to fire continuously by letting it slide back-and-forth against a user’s shoulder, causing its trigger to ‘bump’ rapidly against the user’s finger.

Even if the money is gone from the program, the equipment will still be illegal to own on March 26.

The State Patrol is opening one office in each of its eight districts on the next two Sundays and Mondays, Loftis said. If people miss the hours at Kennewick, the district’s Yakima office at 2715 Rudkin Road will be open on March 24 and 25.

While he can see that people can have understandable frustrations, Loftis said the State Patrol is simply trying to implement the law.

“We’re in the responsibility business,” he said. “We have a responsibility for implementing the law.”

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