WSP hosts bump stock buyback program

Daily World & wire services

Daily World and wire services

As a national ban approaches, Washington State Patrol has begun buying back bump stocks at locations throughout the state, including Hoquiam.

“There were 14 bump stocks turned into the State Patrol during the two Hoquiam buyback days,” said State Trooper Chelsea Hodgson. That was out of 520 turned in for a $150 voucher statewide.

The Hoquiam buyback took place March 17-18 at the State Patrol office on Pacific Avenue. There is a second buyback session slated for Sunday and Monday, but the closest location will be at the State Patrol office in Bremerton at 4811 Werner Road from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A national ban on the equipment takes effect March 26. After that date, those found in possession of bump stocks could face a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine under federal law.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation March 14 to create $150,000 in funding for the program, enough to buy back 1,000 bump stocks. Participants are allowed to bring in up to five bump stocks.

The buyback program allows state residents to turn in bump stocks, operable or inoperable, and receive a $150 voucher per device. Once vouchers are processed, a check will be mailed. Vouchers will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and will not be handed out after funding for the program is exhausted.

A bump stock allows a semi-automatic gun to fire more rapidly than the standard stock and grip, simulating an automatic weapon.

“We know that this is a dangerous piece of equipment. It’s not an accurate one used, so you’ve got rapid fire that’s going all over the place,” said State Trooper Will Finn. “There’s really no valid reason (to keep them) that we can see, and that’s why we’re taking them back at this point, giving everybody an opportunity to comply with the law.”

Some who turned in the equipment explained to troopers at the Vancouver buyback why they purchased them in the first place.

“Some of them are veterans. They had them while they were in the military, just for unknown reasons,” Finn said.

If funding is available from the state, the State Patrol could host additional events, Finn said.