Following in the foot steps of New Jersey, this “feel-good” bill will do nothing, absolutely NOTHING, to prevent people from bump firing.
From Hanna Scott at MyNorthwest.com: It was a big win for Washington Democrats and gun control advocates Thursday night as the state Senate approved a bump stock ban.
The bump stock ban is among a slew of gun control legislation making its way through the state Legislature this session (See here for the other anti-gun bills, including large capacity magazine ban and license/registration of “assault weapons”). But it’s one that many have had their eye on. The so-called bump stocks are a trigger modification that allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire more rapidly — similar to a fully automatic. It was used by the Las Vegas gunman who killed 58 people and injured hundreds.
This bill went through a Senate committee earlier this month where survivors of the Vegas shooting told lawmakers how dangerous the devices can be. A local mother who’s daughter was killed in the shooting begged lawmakers to ban bump stocks.
“The bump stock modification on the AR-15 that murdered Carrie increased the gun’s rate of fire to nine rounds per second,” she said. “Think of that — a 30-round magazine could be emptied in just over three seconds. Nobody stood a chance.”
Bump stock ban
Critics complained the bill was too broad because it included all types of trigger modifications, some of which can just be used to improve sighting and accuracy. But it made its way out of committee. It was debated late Thursday night on the Senate floor where Republican Senator Mike Padden fought for an amendment that would not ban the bump stocks at all. He proposed other measures.
“Rather than ban them, it takes a different approach and allows for the same requirements and procedures for purchasing and owning a pistol or handgun for the purchase and possession of a bump fire stock, including requiring a state and federal check at the time of acquisition,” Padden proposed.
But Democratic senators like Jaime Pedersen weren’t feeling it.
“This amendment essentially legalizes bump stocks with a background check and I think that’s the wrong direction to go in,” Pedersen argued. “The state has a very long history of not allowing machines guns or fully automatic rifles. And that is the reasoning behind why I brought this bill forward in the first place.”
Padden’s amendment failed, but another amendment by Republican Senator Hans Zieger did pass. Zeigler’s amendment tightens up the bill as far as the definition of trigger modifications, so the ban doesn’t effect trigger mods that help with things like accuracy. The final bill only bans modifications that are specifically designed to accelerate the rate of fire.
But before final passage there were still plenty of concerns from some Republicans, including Senator Mark Schoelser who argued it was slippery slope for gun rights in Washington state.
“Clearly, this is the first gun seizure in the State of Washington,” Schloesler said. “Because if you are found in possession, you are a felon. Turn it in, have it seized, be a felon. It is gun seizure for the first time.”
The ban cleared the Senate on a 29-20 vote with four Republicans joining the Democratic majority. If it clears the House and Governor Jay Inslee signs it as is, the ban would go into effect in July. After that, it would become illegal to manufacture or sell a bump stock in Washington. A year later it would become illegal to own or posses a bump stock. Anyone who owns them will have to turn them in. They’d also be declared contraband that can be seized by police, which had some Republicans concerned cops would go into homes to seize the weapons.