Bump Stock Ban Faces Uncertain Future In Washington Legislature

SHARE:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone
BRIANHE / WIKIMEDIA - TINYURL.COM/ZMPZ86K

Listen

A ban on bump stocks has passed out of a Washington state Senate committee. But it faces an uncertain future.

Last October’s mass shooting in Las Vegas made bump stocks a household term. Bump stocks are devices that allow a semi-automatic gun to fire more like an automatic weapon. The shooter outfitted at least two of his guns with the devices before killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.

This animation shows how a bump stock works. The trigger, in red, is toggled by the stable trigger finger when the receiver moves forward, and is reset when the receiver moves back due to recoil.
CREDIT: PHOENIX7777 / WIKIMEDIA – TINYURL.COM/YAYZ5X58
 
 
Now Washington lawmakers are considering a ban on bump stocks. Ann-Marie Parsons testified this week in favor of that legislation.

“On October 1 of this year, my daughter Carrie Parsons was murdered in Las Vegas in the mass shooting,” she said. “Saying that is very hard for me.”

Parsons told the Senate Law and Justice Committee that her daughter was killed by an AR-15 rifle that had been outfitted with a bump stock.

The bump stock ban has now passed out of that committee, but Democratic leaders make no promises about its future.

Senate Majority Leader Sharon Nelson said passing gun-related legislation is always difficult.

“I would love to see that bill signed into law, but we will have to caucus on it,” she said.

Republican state Senator Jan Angel serves on Senate Law and Justice Committee. She said a ban is unnecessary.

“What’s the problem that we’re trying to solve? I don’t see that we really have one,” Angel said. “In Vegas, yes there was a man that took bad advantage of that, but he also had multiple other weapons. There was a much bigger scheme on that. And of course our hearts go out to those folks.”

Speaker of the House Frank Chopp said there would need to be bipartisan support to outlaw bump stocks.

“The bump stock bill potentially could be that,” he said. “We’re going to be having hearings on a number of bills and see where the votes are.”

Democrats have slim majorities in both the Washington House and Senate. Already some more conservative Democrats have signaled they won’t support a ban. That means Democrats would need some Republican votes.

But Senate Republican leader Mark Schoesler said he’s not sure they’ll get those votes after rejecting a Republican amendment to the bill that was introduced in committee.

“Get it out of the committee, no amendments,” Schoesler said. “That doesn’t do much to garner Republican support.”

The Republican amendment would have required background checks for bump stocks, but not banned the devices.

Other gun control bills under consideration this year in the Washington Legislature include a limit on magazine capacity and enhanced background checks for purchases of military-style rifles, also known as assault weapons. 

Copyright 2018 Northwest News Network

Related Stories:

At his weekly news conference Wednesday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee called on state lawmakers to pass gun control measures.

Invoking Florida School Shooting, Jay Inslee Urges Lawmakers To Act On Gun Bills

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is reiterating his call for state lawmakers to pass a series of what he calls “common sense” gun control measures. He made his comments Wednesday, Feb. 21 in response to the Florida shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed. Continue Reading Invoking Florida School Shooting, Jay Inslee Urges Lawmakers To Act On Gun Bills

Read More »
David Sawyer

Washington Democratic Lawmaker Restricted From Staff Contact After Unspecified Allegation

An allegation against Washington state Rep. David Sawyer of Tacoma has led House Democrats to restrict his contact with staff. House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan said he can’t speak to the specifics or seriousness of the allegation, but that “it appears” it’s not “sexual in nature.” Continue Reading Washington Democratic Lawmaker Restricted From Staff Contact After Unspecified Allegation

Read More »
SHARE:
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone