OLYMPIA – Washington residents will have less than two weeks to turn in their bump stocks for money.
When the Legislature banned bump stocks last year, it agreed to buy them back from residents but failed to put money in the budget. The U.S. Justice Department later determined bump stocks are illegal under federal law, effective March 26.
That narrowed the window for the Legislature to come up with the money so the Washington State Patrol can buy the devices back. Less than two weeks from the federal ban taking effect, the money still needs final approval.
On Monday, the House agreed to buy back bump stocks for $150 each and approved $150,000 for the patrol to purchase them. The bill passed 94-4, but with an amendment that would allow residents to turn in bump stocks to other law enforcement agencies and receive a receipt, redeemable by the state patrol before July. On Tuesday, the Senate agreed to that change.
Passing money for the program “is a time-sensitive issue,” said Rep. Timm Ormsby, D-Spokane.
“We should get it in place so that people can receive reimbursement for their bump stock before they become illegal to possess later this month,” he said.
The bill now must go to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.
The patrol is planning to hold four sessions at offices in its eight state districts for residents to turn in their bump stocks, Capt. Monica Alexander said. It may be hurried, but they have a plan in place, she said.
“As soon as we get the governor’s signature on that bill, we’re going to definitely send this out to get people as much time as we can,” Alexander said.
A bump-stock owner will need to provide a valid Washington identification and address to receive a check in the mail.
“There will be no money changing hands at the location,” Alexander said.
The bill would allow a Washington resident to be paid for as many as five bump stocks.
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