This week, President Donald Trump endorsed a ban on bump stocks and other devices used to increase a gun’s rate of fire.
One state isn’t waiting on the federal government to act, however. They just voted to ban all bump stocks, and it may become the law there by summer.
According to a report by KOMO in Seattle, the Washington state legislature is making another attempt to pass a bump stock ban, after a similar effort failed last year. This year, however, it looks poised to become law. The measure, which already passed the state senate, was passed by the House yesterday. Another procedural vote in the Senate is needed before the governor can sign it into law, all of which is expected.
The House also added an amendment to add a buy-back program, allowing owners to trade in their bump stocks for $150.
“I honestly think this is the least that we could do after what been happening in our country,” said Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma). “What happened last week, and what’s been happening in the last number of months.”
The bump-fire stock is a gun attachment that increases a semiautomatic’s rate of fire to that of a fully automatic weapon.
Gun store owner Wade Gaughran says bans are not the right solution to address the recent mass shootings.
“If anybody thinks that this law is going to save one person’s life in the state of Washington, I think they’re so far off base,” said Gaughran, who owns Wade’s Eastside Firearms in Bellevue.
Gaughran fears the ban on bump stocks could backfire, increasing its popularity.
“If this bump stock ban goes through, there’s going to be some enterprising young industrialist who’s going to come up with some other way to simulate full-auto fire that may be a lot better than the bump stock and may work a lot better. And now there’s this pent-up demand sitting there waiting for that to happen,” said Gaughran.
The bill, which passed in the Senate in last month, prohibits the manufacturing and selling of bump stocks starting July 1, 2018. It prohibits the ownership of bump stocks starting July 1, 2019.
Rep. Jinkins suggested further gun control legislation is needed.
“There are many other devices out there that will do similar things so I think we’re going to have to continue to watch, look and see what we can do to try and prohibit anything that essentially creates a machine gun in this state,” Rep. Jenkins said in Olympia after the 56-41 vote.
The bill now goes back to the Senate where the amendment would have to be approved before Governor Inslee can sign it into law.
Here is video from the Firearms Policy Coalition on the proposed measure, recorded before Friday’s vote.