As Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee signed a law Tuesday banning the sale and possession of bump stocks, prices for the soon-to-be contraband accessories soared online.
During a news conference, Inslee said the new law “is a measure that will save lives.”
However, the senior editor of TheGunMag.Com said it won’t do more than boost sales.
From his office in Bellevue, Dave Workman showed KIRO 7 some online sales of bump stocks and found what appear to be high prices.
“If people believe there might be a shortage, that they’re not going to be able to get something tomorrow, they’re going to go out and get it today,” he said.
Washington is just the latest in a handful of states and cities to ban the sale and possession of bump stocks, an accessory that attaches to the back of a rifle and allows squeezed triggers to slide back and forth more quickly, simulating automatic fire.
However, Workman said he's never spoken with a Washington state gun owner who wants to purchase a bump stock, and believes the sales are driven by fear more than a desire to own a bump stock.
“I think it’s a matter of supply and demand,” Workman told KIRO 7.
“There are people who, for whatever reason, think ‘gee, they’re going to crack down on them, I’d better go get one or two or three.’”
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The man who opened fire in Las Vegas last October used a bump stock, injuring more than 400 people and killing 58, including the daughter of Jim and AnneMarie Parsons, who flanked Gov. Inslee when he signed the law Tuesday.
“This is a common-sense piece of legislation,” the governor said. “It will help save lives from mass gun violence.”
However, Workman doesn’t believe it will “because in Washington state, rifles of any kind are used in about 2-3% of the homicides in any given year,” he told KIRO 7. He called the banning of an accessory a “feel good move.”
“It’s a symbolic victory, but I don’t think symbolism is going to go very far when you’re talking about saving lives.”
The ban will go into effect later this year.
The Washington State Patrol is also setting up a buy-back program where people who turn in bump stocks will be paid $150.
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