By Jack Heffernan

With a federal ban approaching, Washington State Patrol bought back its budgeted number of bump stocks, including nearly 100 in Vancouver.

Since March 17, WSP collected 1,000 bump stocks in exchange for money vouchers. In Vancouver, 96 bump stocks were exchanged while 26 were turned in with no voucher, WSP Trooper Will Finn said.

The WSP office in Vancouver, 11018 N.E. 51st Circle, hosted four, six-hour buyback events starting March 17 and ending Monday. On Monday, several people left the WSP office without exchanging because there were no funds left, Finn said. Out of WSP's eight districts throughout the state, District 5 -- based in Vancouver -- collected the fifth-highest number of bump stocks.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation March 14 to create $150,000 in funding for the program, enough to buy back 1,000 bump stocks. Participants were allowed to bring in up to five bump stocks, operable or inoperable, and receive a $150 voucher per device.

WSP could host additional events if funding is made available from the state, Finn said.

Bump stocks allow semi-automatic guns to fire more rapidly than standard stocks and grips, simulating automatic weapons.

A national ban on the equipment takes effect Tuesday. Those found in possession of bump stocks could face a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine under federal law, Finn said.


Vegas spurred action

Gun rights groups are asking the Supreme Court to stop the Trump administration from beginning to enforce its ban on the weapons.

The groups asked the court Monday to get involved in the issue and keep the government from beginning to enforce the ban for now. The ban has put the Trump administration in the unusual position of arguing against gun rights groups. It's unclear how quickly the court will act.

President Donald Trump said last year that the government would move to ban bump stocks. The action followed a 2017 shooting in Las Vegas in which a gunman attached bump stocks to assault-style rifles he used to shoot concertgoers. Fifty-eight people were killed.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

(c)2019 The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.)