Bill To Ban ‘Bump Stocks’ Passes Senate Committee
The worst mass shooting in American history happened last October and pressure is growing in Olympia to pass legislation here in our state to combat such shootings.
The first bill on deck is SB 5992, which took the first step in a long process before ending up as law this week.
The bill passed the state Senate Law & Justice Committee, and from there it gets referred to the Senate Rules committee.
From there it would have to pass the Senate floor, go the state House and through their process, then back and forth between committees.
After a few weeks, months and modifications it could end up on the governor's desk to be signed into law. (And that's the simplified version of what has to happen for the bill to become law.)
For right now though, the bill is little more than "Photo Op Politics" in which state Democrats excited about holding a new majority in Olympia think they can get a nice photo fighting for gun control for the next campaign ad.
But what would the law actually do?
As of right now, it only adds a new paragraph to existing gun laws in the state, which would prohibit any:
"Trigger modification device" means any part, or combination of parts, designed or intended to accelerate the rate of fire of a firearm, but does not convert the firearm into a machine gun, including: (a) Any part, or combination of parts, designed or intended for use in modifying a firearm to use the recoil of the firearm to produce a rapid succession of trigger functions; or (b) Any part, or combination of parts, designed or intended for use in modifying a firearm to produce multiple trigger functions through the use of an external mechanism.
Democrats were hoping to make it through the Senate before the end of the month.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, but being such a big headline bill, it has more than a dozen co-sponsors including state Sens. Zeiger, Dhingra, Fain, Pedersen, Liias, Nelson, Billig, Darneille, Palumbo, Carlyle, Frockt, Rolfes, Keiser, Hunt, Wellman, Chase, Ranker, Saldaña, Kuderer, Mullet. Remember what we said about "photo-op politics?"
This bill would make it a crime to "knowingly possess a firearm accessory or any other device, part or combination of parts that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic firearm."
The NRA released a statement on the bill calling SB 5992 "broad and overreaching," adding that provisions in SB 5992 could potentially criminalize firearm modifications such as competition triggers, muzzle brakes, and ergonomic changes that are commonly done by gun owners.
It should be noted that other states are trying to pass similar bills and some already have. New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill Monday banning the sale or possession of bump stocks. Of course, it was one of 150 bills signed as a part of the New Jersey governor's final business before leaving office, so he will face no political ramifications for signing the bill, NJ.com reported.
Under New Jersey's law, selling or possessing a bump stock carries a three- to five-year prison sentence or a fine of up to $15,000, according to NJ.com.