Bump stock boom: Homemade devices are flooding into the state's buyback program
The Washington State Patrol has two bump stock problems.
The first: The state is buying back these devices that let guns fire faster, and the program has burned through more than half its allocated money in just two days.
The second: Many of the bump stocks flooding in are homemade.
A federal ban on bump stocks takes effect on May 26. To help gun owners comply with that ban and a later state ban, the Legislature budgeted $150,000 for the buyback program – enough for 1,000 bump stocks at $150 apiece.
In just the first two days, the state bought back 520.
Captain Monica Alexander of the Washington State Patrol said law enforcement was surprised to get almost 300 on Sunday, the first day of the buyback.
"Two-hundred ninety-one in one day? On a Sunday with beautiful weather?" Alexander said. "I thought that was pretty good.”
One question remains, however: What to do with homemade bump stocks?
At the State Patrol office in Bellevue on Monday morning, a group of people were standing around in the parking lot holding plastic bags full of them.
They had brought in DIY bump stocks but the State Patrol would not accept them, they said. The group was told these weren’t the kind the state is looking for.
One man said he might have been turned away because his bump stock is to soften the recoil, not necessarily to fire his gun faster.
Alexander said State Patrol armory experts inspect each device and determine if it's what they want. In an email, Alexander said she doesn't believe they're turning away a lot of people.
But these people are still worried they could be owning something illegal next month and will have to get rid of their bump stocks even if they don't receive their $150 from the state.
The next buyback dates are March 24 and 25.