S.B.5992. Concerning trigger modification devices. (REVISED FOR ENGROSSED: Concerning bump-fire stocks. )

Washington Senate
Last action 9 months ago
Polls (closed):
Yay (2)    Nay (5)

Summary

                    Prohibits the manufacture, sale, purchase, or possession of a trigger modification device and declares such a device to be contraband.

Defines trigger modification device as any part or combination of parts designed or intended to accelerate the rate of fire of a firearm.

A trigger modification device is defined as 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:

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 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.
                
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                    Effective July 1, 2018, it is unlawful for any person to manufacture or sell any trigger modification device.

Effective July 1, 2019, it is unlawful for any person to manufacture, own, buy, sell, loan, furnish, transport, or have in their possession or control a trigger modification device or to assemble or repair any trigger modification device.

All trigger modification devices are declared to be contraband and may be seized by law enforcement whenever found. The manufacture, sale, purchase or possession of a trigger modification device is a Class C felony and a Seriousness Level III. Using a trigger modification device in the commission or furtherance of a felony is a Class A felony and a Seriousness Level VII.

Background: On October 1, 2017, 58 people were killed and several hundred were wounded in Las Vegas, Nevada, when a shooter used one or more AR-type rifles affixed with a bump stock device. Since that time, the regulation of bump stocks have become a topic of national interest.

Bump firing is the act of using the recoil of a semi-automatic firearm to fire shots in rapid succession. Bump fire can be accomplished by holding the gun in a loose way and allowing it to rock back and forth against the trigger finger, which simulates the ability of a fully automatic weapon. However, bump firing is especially inaccurate and a shooter has little control. Over the years, various bump fire stocks have been developed. A bump stock replaces the standard stock and grip of a firearm. When the gun is fired, the gun is allowed to slide back and forth, allowing the gun to reset and fire without the shooter having to move their finger. Using a bump fire stock, a shooter can achieve something close to automatic fire with some semblance of accuracy and control.

Because a bump fire stock has no automatically functioning mechanical parts or springs and performs no automatic mechanical function when installed, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has issued various private letters of interpretation over the years classifying bump fire stocks as unregulated parts or accessories under the Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act. Given the significant amount of attention focused on bump stock devices since the Las Vegas shooting and requests from Congress, the ATF is reexamining its past classification decision and issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in December 2017. The notice requests the public and industry provide information and comments to assist the Department of Justice and ATF in clarifying whether certain devices, commonly known as bump fire stocks, fall within the definition of machine gun in the National Firearms Act and Gun Control Act.

In Washington State, it is unlawful for any person to manufacture, sell, purchase, or possess a machine gun. Any machine gun or part designed for use in a machine gun is declared to be contraband and may be seized by law enforcement. A machine gun is generally defined as any firearm or other mechanism not requiring that the trigger be pressed for each shot, having a separate reservoir clip or other device for storing ammunition which can be loaded into the firearm, and capable of firing at the rate of five or more shots per second. The manufacture, sale, purchase, or possession of a machine gun is a Class C felony. Using a machine gun in the commission or furtherance of a felony is a Class A felony. These provisions do not apply to a person engaged in the manufacture or repair of machine guns for use by the armed forces or law enforcement, or persons engaged in the exportation of machine guns in compliance with federal law.

While a bump fire stock can achieve rates in excess of five shots per second, the recoil action technically qualifies as a trigger pull and therefore does not fall within the definition of a machine gun.
                

In an effort to be an unbiased source of information, all text in this summary comes directly from government resources.

Actions

  • Effective date 6/7/2018***.

    Tue, Mar 6th 2018
  • Governor signed.

    Tue, Mar 6th 2018
  • Chapter 7, 2018 Laws.

    Tue, Mar 6th 2018
  • Speaker signed.

    Wed, Feb 28th 2018
  • President signed.

    Wed, Feb 28th 2018
  • Delivered to Governor.

    Wed, Feb 28th 2018
  • Passed final passage; yeas, 31; nays, 18; absent, 0; excused, 0.

    Tue, Feb 27th 2018
  • Senate concurred in House amendments.

    Tue, Feb 27th 2018
  • Third reading, passed; yeas, 56; nays, 41; absent, 0; excused, 1.

    Fri, Feb 23rd 2018
  • Rules suspended. Placed on Third Reading.

    Fri, Feb 23rd 2018
  • Floor amendment(s) adopted.

    Fri, Feb 23rd 2018
  • Rules Committee relieved of further consideration. Placed on second reading.

    Wed, Feb 21st 2018
  • Referred to Rules 2 Review.

    Tue, Feb 20th 2018
  • JUDI - Majority; do pass.

    Thu, Feb 15th 2018
  • Minority; do not pass.

    Thu, Feb 15th 2018
  • First reading, referred to Judiciary (Not Officially read and referred until adoption of Introduction report).

    Mon, Jan 29th 2018
  • Floor amendment(s) adopted.

    Thu, Jan 25th 2018
  • Third reading, passed; yeas, 29; nays, 20; absent, 0; excused, 0.

    Thu, Jan 25th 2018
  • Rules suspended. Placed on Third Reading.

    Thu, Jan 25th 2018
  • Placed on second reading by Rules Committee.

    Thu, Jan 18th 2018
  • Passed to Rules Committee for second reading.

    Wed, Jan 17th 2018
  • Minority; do not pass.

    Tue, Jan 16th 2018
  • LAW - Majority; do pass.

    Tue, Jan 16th 2018
  • First reading, referred to Law & Justice.

    Mon, Jan 8th 2018
  • Prefiled for introduction.

    Mon, Dec 4th 2017