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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington Legislature Passes Ban On Bump Stocks

Jon Connell
Flickr -

The Washington Legislature has sent a ban on bump stocks to Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature. A bump stock is a trigger modification device that make a semi-automatic rifle function more like an automatic weapon.

The final bump stock bill includes a buy-back program. During the first year the ban is in place, bump stock owners could sell their device back to the Washington State Patrol for $150.

But that wasn’t enough to satisfy opponents of the ban like Republican state Sen. Mike Padden. 

“The fact remains that after that year is over, the little piece of plastic can then make you a felon if you possess it,” Padden said. “And it’s different from a weapon. It is not a weapon in and of itself yet mere possession is going to make you a felon.”

The gunman in last year's deadly Las Vegas shooting used a bump stock.

Massachusetts banned the devices earlier this month. In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has indicated he supports a federal ban on bump stocks.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."