Before a nationwide ban takes effect next week, residents of Washington state can turn in their bump stocks and receive $150 per device.
Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5954 into law March 14, allowing residents of the state to turn in their bump stocks to the statewide Bump Stock Buy-Back Program March 17-18 and March 24-25.
The devices replace the standard stock and grip of a semi-automatic firearm, making it easier to fire rounds from such a weapon by harnessing the gun’s recoil to “bump” the trigger faster. Bump stocks gained national attention in 2017 after a gunman in Las Vegas rigged his weapons with the devices to fire on concertgoers, killing 58 people.
In December, the Trump administration moved to ban bump stocks through a new regulation to be enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It clarifies that bump stock-type devices constitute machine guns, as defined in two pieces of federal gun legislation that have been on the books for decades.
Officials at the time said it was difficult to characterize how many gun owners the new rule might affect because precise sales figures are hard to determine. They noted bump stocks aren’t widespread, but they are not uncommon. The rule takes effect across the country on March 26.
Machine guns are illegal in Washington. And voters in the state recently passed a referedum, Initiative 1639, that raised the minimum age to buy semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, and added background checks to purchase semi-automatics. That law came into effect January 1.
Washington’s $150,000 bump stock buy-back program will give owners $150 per bump stock, with a maximum of five bump stocks per individual.