OLYMPIA – A controversial gun control bill to ban bump stocks was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee.
SB 5922 passed both chambers in the Washington State Legislature by slim margins and largely along party lines. The vote was 29-20 in the Senate and 56-41 in the House of Representatives.
Gov. Inslee signed the bill on Tuesday, March 6.
Starting July 1, 2018, bump stocks will be illegal to manufacture or sell and starting July 1, 2019 the accessory will be illegal to possess. The bill also allows police officers to seize the weapons and if found, possession or use of a bump stock qualifies as a felony.
The Senate approved a House amendment that requires the Washington State Patrol to administer a buy-back program from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. Those who currently own bump stocks can bring the device to facilities throughout the state and receive $150 for them.
“This measure is just one more modest step to prevent gun violence,” Inslee said, calling for more action on gun regulations.
Bump stocks became a topic of national conversation after a shooting at a country music concert in Las Vegas in October 2017. The shooter reportedly used a bump stock, a device that attaches to a semi-automatic rifle increasing its firing rate.
Jim and Ann Marie Parsons, a Bainbridge Island couple who lost their daughter Carrie in the shooting, stood at Inslee’s side as he signed the bill.
California, Massachusetts, and New Jersey have already banned bump stocks. Lawmakers have introduced 71 bump stock bills in 32 states to strengthen restrictions on bump stocks and related trigger activator devices, according to Giffords Law Center.
Taylor McAvoy is a reporter with the WNPA Olympia News Bureau.