Governor Jay Inslee signs a ban on bump stocks on Tuesday, March. 6. Photo by Taylor McAvoy

Governor Jay Inslee signs a ban on bump stocks on Tuesday, March. 6. Photo by Taylor McAvoy

Bump stock ban becomes law; semiautomatics bill up next

It will be illegal in Washington to sell or own devices that make semiautomatic guns fire more rapidly.

Gov. Jay Inslee sat down at the end of his conference table Tuesday and reminded those around him it had been 156 days since a man firing semiautomatic weapons out a hotel window in Las Vegas killed 58 people attending a country music festival.

Then he signed a new law outlawing the sale and possession in Washington of devices known as bump stocks, which the shooter used to enable his arsenal of semiautomatic weapons to fire more rapidly.

“This is a common-sense piece of legislation,” he said. “This measure is going to save lives.”

The new state law makes it illegal to manufacture or sell bump stocks in Washington beginning July 1 and to own or possess them beginning July 1, 2019. After that latter date, they will be considered contraband and subject to seizure by authorities.

Under the new law, the state will establish a buy-back program between July 1 and June 30, 2019. A person will be able to turn in a bump stock to the Washington State Patrol or a local law enforcement agency and receive $150.

Lawmakers moved to outlaw the devices after the October mass slaying in which the shooter reportedly had 12 rifles outfitted with the plastic attachments, which cover a trigger opening and allow a gun to fire rapidly as the recoil “bumps” the trigger.

A few minutes after affixing his signature to Senate Bill 5992, Inslee told reporters he hoped lawmakers acted before the session ends Thursday on another bill that would treat semiautomatic rifles in much the same fashion as handguns.

Senate Bill 6620 would raise the age to purchase certain semiautomatic rifles or shotguns from 18 to 21, and to bring background check requirements for those guns mostly into line with those required to buy a handgun.

“I would hope that they can do it,” he said. “I think there is a fair chance.”

Much like the bump stock ban, the momentum behind this legislation is another mass slaying.

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, had introduced a bill in January to raise the age for buying a semiautomatic rifle but it died in committee.

Then in February, a 19-year-old armed with a legally purchased semiautomatic rifle killed 17 people at a Florida high school.

The tragedy occurred a day after police arrested an Everett teen for allegedly planning to shoot up ACES High School in south Everett with military-style semiautomatic rifles legally purchased in Snohomish County, records show.

Frockt drew up a new version of his bill and added provisions to boost school safety programs. By Tuesday afternoon it had reached the Senate floor where Democratic and Republican senators had put forth two dozen amendments.

Frockt said the “vast majority” of his caucus wants to put the bill on the floor “and see what happens.”

“President Trump is talking about strengthening background checks and that’s what this bill does,” he said. “I think the people are not going to be happy if we sit around and do nothing.”

Students from several Western Washington high schools descended upon the Capitol to urge lawmakers to pass it.

“We’re all supporters of gun control,” said Kyler Parris, a Bothell High School senior and an organizer of the March for Lives rally in Seattle on March 24. “We’ve grown up with constant fear of the real possibility of a mass shooting in our school.”

He was among a group of students from the Northshore School District who delivered their message directly to several Snohomish County lawmakers.

One was Sen. Guy Palumbo, D-Maltby, who told them he supports the bill. In a separate interview, he said he had to go through a background check and be 21 to buy his Glock.

“Why should anyone in the world be able to get an AR-15 without the same level of scrutiny?” he said.

This story first ran in the Everett Herald. Reach Jerry Cornfield at 360-352-8623 or jcornfield @herald net.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dospueblos.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Northwest

Screenshot of April 5 Edmonds City Council meeting. Inset (L-R): Mayor Mike Nelson and council members Kristiana Johnson, Will Chen, Neil Tibbott, Diane Buckshnis, Vivian Olson, Susan Paine and Laura Johnson. (City of Edmonds)
After long debate, Edmonds bans homeless people from living outside

The criminal law is unenforceable if no shelter is open within 35 miles. The City Council approved it over public outcry.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII (Episode 4): Foster mom wants accountability in Auburn cop’s upcoming murder trial

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Sound Publishing archives
Cannabis DUI challenge rejected by state Supreme Court

Everett man argued the law must be tossed because legal limit for THC is not supported by science.

A man who appears to be President Joe Biden is seen in the back seat of a car in the president’s motorcade, departing the Green River College after the president’s speech. Photo by Alex Bruell/Sound Publishing
Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
Judged by XII (Episode 2): Police officer’s history of violence | King County Local Dive

Special podcast series explores Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

President Joe Biden. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Biden visits Seattle and Green River College during trip to Pacific Northwest

The president will stress infrastructure in Portland and Seattle while raising money for the Democratic Party.

The Sammamish Valley is home to a collection of farms, wineries and tasting rooms. File photo
The Sammamish Valley is home to a collection of farms, wineries and tasting rooms. File photo
King County continues to grapple with alcohol rules in rural areas

Much of the debate surrounds wineries, breweries and distilleries operating as retail businesses.

Teaser
How a Ukrainian and Russian couple escaped a war zone

“We will never forget that sound. Boom. Boom,” said Valeriia Horodnycha, who has been staying in Mercer Island.

Sunset at Mount Rainier. NPS
Mount Rainier park approves nine new lahar monitoring stations

The new monitors can give local communities up to 10 extra minutes to evacuate in case of a disaster.

Metro Creative Graphics Photo
Health board decides against COVID vaccine requirement for students

The state Board of Health wants to see more data for younger children.

Tulalip council members and tribal members watch as Governor Jay Inslee signs bill HB 1571 into law at the Tulalip Resort on Thursday, March 31, 2022 in Tulalip, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
New alert system aims to bring home missing Indigenous people

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a law creating the new system. Families of the missing and murdered say it’s a start.

File photo
Cannabis stakeholders want cash out of the equation amid rash of robberies

State regulators say action from Congress is required for cannabis industry to use credit cards.