PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. – Today was the second day for Washington State Patrol’s bump stock buyback program.
Big bucks are up for grabs for up to five bump stocks – but only if the owners turn them into police before the devices are outlawed.
Bump stocks become illegal later this month and gun owners only have a couple more days to turn them in for a voucher.
For Michael Montfort, he’s looking to score a $150 voucher from the state patrol because he’s not willing to risk getting busted owning one after the deadline.
“I don’t want to be a felon,” said Montfort. “If I go to the range and somebody sees this on my weapon, I get reported and technically I become a felon.”
“It sounds weird, but I actually hurt my feelings,” said gun owner Billy Pettit. “I’m pro second amendment.”
Pettit turned in three bump stocks for vouchers and while he could get nearly $500 from the program, he believes the state and federal legislation banning bump stocks won’t keep the public safe.
“If I was to be brutally honest about it, I’d rather have a bad dude waste all of his bullets at nothing than controlled fire on a semi auto, it’s much more lethal,” he said.
“Here in our district we’ve had the greatest response compared to the other districts in our state,” said Sgt. J.J. Gundermann.
Nearly 100 bump stocks were turned in on Sunday in Pierce County plus at least another 30 so far on Monday.
But the $150,000 allocated for the program by the state won’t last forever.
“We only have a limited number of vouchers to hand out,” said Gundermann.
Come March 26, bump stocks will become illegal. State and federal law banned the devices that turn some firearms into near fully automatic. Authorities believe that’s how the shooter in Las Vegas was able to kill and injure so many.
But some gun owners believe the buybacks using taxpayer money will do nothing to improve safety for everyone.
“What I think you’re doing is just taking a hobby away from somebody,” said Pettit.
The state patrol will hold another buy back session next Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.