Bump Stock Ban Faces Uncertain Future In Washington Legislature

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:

David Sawyer

Embattled Washington Lawmaker David Sawyer Trails In Primary After Misconduct Allegations

Democratic state Rep. David Sawyer of Tacoma was in third place in early primary returns Tuesday night, an indication of the political fallout he’s facing over numerous allegations of inappropriate behavior toward women and an investigation that found he violated House harassment policy. Continue Reading Embattled Washington Lawmaker David Sawyer Trails In Primary After Misconduct Allegations

Read More »
Washington 13th District GOP Rep. Matt Manweller CREDIT: WASHINGTON LEGISLATURE/2014

Washington Rep. Matt Manweller Denies Inappropriate Behavior, Pre-Empts CWU Report

With less than a week until the primary election in his district, Republican state Rep. Matt Manweller has released a video accusing his employer—Central Washington University —of pursuing a partisan-driven investigation into his workplace conduct. Continue Reading Washington Rep. Matt Manweller Denies Inappropriate Behavior, Pre-Empts CWU Report

Read More »
Tarra Simmons, an honors law school graduate with a criminal past, was the subject of a political mailer attacking a Democratic candidate for the Washington Senate.

Vindicated By Washington High Court, Lawyer With Criminal Past Becomes Campaign Fodder

The past eight months have been a whirlwind of victories for Tarra Simmons—an honors law school graduate with a criminal past. This week something happened that Simmons could not have anticipated. A political mailer started showing up in mailboxes in the 26th Legislative District that attacked a Democratic candidate for state Senate, Emily Randall, for supporting Simmons in her bid to become a lawyer. Continue Reading Vindicated By Washington High Court, Lawyer With Criminal Past Becomes Campaign Fodder

Read More »