Washington’s Bump-Fire Stock Buyback Program: Is $150 Worth The Risk?

Image Courtesy “WASR” via Creative Commons License

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Last year Washington State government’s knee-jerk reaction to a mass shooting resulted in a legislated ban of “Bump-Fire” modifications to semi-automatic firearms. A few legislators submitted an amendment to the impending legislation allowing for a buy back program where residents of the state could receive a voucher for up to $150.00 per stock if they surrendered the stocks either directly to the State Patrol or received a receipt issued for one by a local law enforcement agency.

While some, including myself, had objections to the government’s taking of property without just compensation, which was in some fashion allayed by a price offered that was reasonable considering the market cost for such rifle stocks, the implementation of the buy-back program was not well thought out–which is usually the case with quickly crafted laws.

While some residents having these stocks might find the offer from the state attractive, I do not believe the amount offered is sufficient to offset potential risks associated with turning in these stocks and expecting payment. The buy-back program is also widely open to profiteering and manipulation.

The legislation authorizing the buy-back included an appropriation of $150,000 to fund a thousand potential vouchers. The law directed the State Patrol to craft rules facilitating the exchange of the stocks for a voucher program. It was decided that a first-come first-served system would be implemented.  See http://www.wsp.wa.gov/buyback .


•Individuals must be a Washington resident (an official Washington driver’s license and/or identification card is required)

•Individuals must have a valid mailing address

•There is a limit of five bump stocks per person


  1. An individual may bring in an operable or inoperable bump stock to the listed WSP offices.
  2. An individual may also turn in the device(s) to the ATF or other law enforcement agencies to obtain a receipt. (Individuals must then bring the receipt to one of the listed WSP district office on the designated dates/times to receive a voucher for payment.)
  3. An Individual must present a valid Washington driver’s license or identification card.
  4. At the WSP office, the individual will complete a voucher form with a valid mailing address.
  5. The WSP will process the voucher for payment.
  6. The WSP will mail a check to the individual at the mailing address provided on their original voucher form
  7. An individual may bring in an operable or inoperable bump stock to the listed WSP offices.
  8. An individual may also turn in the device(s) to the ATF or other law enforcement agencies to obtain a receipt. (Individuals must then bring the receipt to one of the listed WSP district office on the designated dates/times to receive a voucher for payment.)
  9. An Individual must present a valid Washington driver’s license or identification card.
  10. At the WSP office, the individual will complete a voucher form with a valid mailing address.
  11. The WSP will process the voucher for payment.
  12. The WSP will mail a check to the individual at the mailing address provided on their original voucher form.

My first thought on this voucher program was to wonder if this information was subject to public disclosure.  Would an applicant for the voucher face the possibility of being personally identified by anyone who submits a public disclosure request for these records? If so it could represent a substantial risk of being targeted for a burglary by criminal elements seeking to illegally acquire firearms. Logic would hold that a person who had at one time a bump-fire stock would be a firearms enthusiast probably one having multiple rifles and other arms. I cannot see the profile of the average bump-fire stock owner owning just one rifle. The profile would be ripe for the taking. This was especially aggravated by the requirement to prove by identification that one resided in the state and having a return address to mail the voucher.  Perhaps this could be mitigated by the presenter giving a “General Delivery” address to their local post office but that would be rather inconvenient and probably not one that most individuals would think of. (If this form of addressing is permitted)

The next concern would be if being on this list might it might be used against them in either a political, legal, mental health, or social context.

I can just foresee a scenario where various individuals have unreasonable and pre-conceived notions about what they believe a bump-fire stock owner to be and that they will be considered a threat or unstable, as it is linked in their minds with, as an example, the Las Vegas mass shooter.  The availability of these voucher lists if they are once made available to the public forum could have everlasting consequences.  The problem might manifest in job applications, used as evidence in character reference, and etc.

Certainly there are those who do not share my concerns and would be happy to surrender this soon-to-be contraband device in exchange for a hundred and fifty bucks, or an even better deal with a maximum of five per person. Thus, there is certainly some money to be made, even if it is a little on the shady side.

The law and its derivative agency rules crafted by the State Patrol broadly defines what constitutes a bump-fire stock. It offers to purchase the stocks, working or not. It does not define a stock such one commercially manufactured for the purpose. A homemade device appears to satisfy the requirements. I have seen such devices crudely assembled using PVC pipe and some using wooden boards. The instructions for making these are easily obtained. In fact, they can be made for less than ten dollars each. What would the WSP do if presented with a family consisting of a husband, wife, daughter, and two year old son to each bring five homemade devices and collectively earn vouchers totaling three grand? It seems certainly possible

There is also the question if a state resident could receive several bump-fire stocks from others residing in other states and sell these via proxy, in exchange for a “piece of the action.”

How this will play out in the end is probably unknown. Will people give these up, destroy them on their own, drop them at the WSP’s front door anonymously, or whatever remains to be seen. I do believe one might find insight in the experience with gun buyback programs in other states. One of the most common strategies adopted by those participating in the buyback programs elsewhere was people would turn in their rusty, broken and junk firearms for cash and use that cash toward buying a new, nicer weapon. The same potential exists here and with up to seven hundred fifty dollars to be had, why not show the State of Washington politicians a little chutzpah and purchase a new AK-47 or Glock Pistol with the Seal of the State of Washington engraved on the slide with the words “Paid for by Governor Inslee”?

Buy-back Pay Back.

By Darren Smith

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

28 thoughts on “Washington’s Bump-Fire Stock Buyback Program: Is $150 Worth The Risk?”

  1. Darran is totally right on this. stupidest buyback program in history
    i wish there were more buybacks, i have some broken old wallhangers I want to lose for a few bucks that nobody would ever buy.
    seems like they hardly ever have them in flyover anymore, more of a NYC thing

  2. When it comes to firearms, never trust a blue government, NEVER, particularly when the Governor aspires to be the next blue president and the AG the next blue Governor.

    1. At the federal level, Trump ordered this, Sessions wrote it, a Trump appointee declined even a temporary injunction.

      Bush signed lots of import bans, as did Senior.

      Reagan signed the Hughes Amendment.

      The GOP has created more gun control since 1968 than the Dems have.

  3. I agree that there should be no database open to the public on any firearm owner, just as there should not be a searchable database on jewelry, fine art, Corvette owners.

    In addition, I enjoy the irony that Liberal Washington requires an ID to prove residency for a bump-stock buyback, but many believe requiring ID to prove eligibility to vote is somehow disenfranchising the poor.

    It also seems logical that people will simply GOOGLE how to build bump-stocks to earn the money in the buy back. Another concern is that the government could assemble a database of people who turn in bump-stocks, and then every time they further restrict firearms, they could do a search and seizure. That is the same concern raised about any gun registration laws, that it will be a back door into people’s home to seize their firearms that were purchased legally. There are both sides to that issue, of course.

    I understand the fear that firearms generate. Someone far from you can kill you. That is also what makes it the great equalizer, where the elderly and women can defend themselves against younger, fit, criminals.

    Here is how it boils down. There are roughly 324 million people living in the US, and over 7 billion in the world. A certain percentage of them will be outright psychopaths, in addition to the more common antisocial criminals. You will never ensure that every person you encounter will be safe, or nice. I believe it is a basic responsibility to have some means of self defense, at least in your home. It is universally accepted to be responsible if one locks ones doors at night, does’t broadcast over Social Media in advance of travel plans, don’t post photos of valuables online, don’t invite strangers home. Having the ability to deal with someone who gets past that flimsy lock on your door is common sense. Alarms help, but if someone is bent on destroying you no matter the cost, they will have time to do it. If you have the inclination to be self reliant, obey the law, and do not have a serious mental illness, then you can procure a firearm.

    Laws do not stop bad people from doing bad things. We have laws against murder and rape, and yet the prisons are full of murderers and rapists. The very same people who would disarm the American public, might find themselves on day in a situation where they desperately wish they could defend themselves. There is no physical deterrent from gang member X selling his gun to gang member Y under the radar. Our porous borders ensure more illegal guns funnel into criminal hands.

    Mass shooters target gun-free zones like schools, churches, or mosques. As they are cowards and cannot face a fair fight, they deliberately seek out the unarmed, most vulnerable people that will terrorize the rest of the country the most. We cannot change this fact of human nature. Terrorists have gone after the vulnerable for hundreds of years.

    Therefore, we should guard what is vulnerable and precious. No one wrings their hands in angst that we should live in a world where the transportation of cash and valuables, jewelry stores, politicians, and glitterati should not need armed guards. It’s reality that these attract violent criminals. We guard them and move on. We certainly don’t refuse to guard them, wail about how unfair it is that you need to guard them, or try to remove every possible weapon so that you won’t need to guard them. We deal with the reality and protect valuables. There is nothing more valuable and precious than children. Schools should have a high level of security.

    In Israel, children are so often targets of homicidal terrorists that they don’t even have any school buses. They would be targets. Military patrol all buses, and children travel to school on the same buses as everyone else. That spreads them out. Schools are ringed with fences that are tall enough to prevent anyone from lobbing a bomb over to the helpless children. There are armed guards at every school, ready and willing to engage evil people who would harm the innocent. Sure, I wish such measures were not needed. But the reality is, that they are.

    Kids are kidnapped from schools. Drug dealers sell drugs at school. Criminal elements terrorize kids in schools. Enraged exes show up to murder their exes at schools. Mass shooters target school to terrorize us all. People ram their cars into schools. Unfortunately, schools are the beating hearts of the country that evil psychopaths target to do the most damage.

    Guard them like your life depended upon it, because it does.

  4. 1.looking at the picture reminded me of Waco where zero weapons on the table were automatic. In this case the mechanism is to do with the trigger guard area from what I can see most of them were made that way and have nothing to do with the stocks.

    2. Any proficient shooter can do more damage with any amount shot single fire than spraying the landscape.

    3. Washington State among others is more known for hosing down the area with quotes from The Manifesto than anything else.

  5. Americans must be armed and ready to immediately join with the militia of their choice in order to secure the free State, the United States of America, and government, in any aspect or at any level, has no authority to violate or otherwise modify that ability.

    2nd Amendment

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  6. If people in the range of the gun shooter in New Zealand had their own automatic weapons he could have been shot and stopped. Mosque attendees need to carry concealed weapons at all times. Shoot back and he might not come back.

      1. “And when the police show up, they will shoot whomever is wielding a gun.”

        Samantha 49 people died waiting for the police to show up.

        Do killers wait for the police to arrive or do they kill the intended as quick as possible and get out? If a really slow bullet flies at ~500 feet per second how many feet could it travel by the time you got your phone out and dialed 911? That is a math question. multi-variate analysis is a lot harder.

        1. A cop told me that he had never, in the history of his career, arrived in time to stop a violent crime in progress. If someone breaks into your house to harm you, they are going to do what they came there to do by the time the police get there.

          Someone’s in your house.

          You have to call 911.
          Explain the situation.
          Give your address or have the operator locate you.
          Wait for police to drive there, assess the situation, and gain entry.
          Wait for police to engage your enemy.

          That is a really, really, really long time when seconds count.

          A firearm will unfortunately not save you in every circumstance, but it will increase your chances of survival in many situations. It is a dangerous tool, to be sure, but it can save your life.

          We routinely use them around here every year to shoot rattlers. They get quite thick out here. I cannot imagine a full grown one would sit still while you hack at them repeatedly with a shovel, all while your toes are within striking distance. Once they are dead, we have to detach their heads with a shovel. You can’t just throw a whole snake in the trash as its fangs could jab someone. It takes me a few whacks to get the heads off. Killing them that way, instead of by snake shot, would be inhumane, and dangerous to me. One of the types of rattlers around here will come right at you if you get close enough they feel threatened. Unless SJWs want to take care of every snake on my property for me, within 5 minutes of a sighting, then they should not try to disarm us. By the way, my cousins kill around 25 rattlers a year on their place, so they should allot a lot of time to this task.

      2. Oh honey, oh, oh, oh, that’s great, keep doing that thing you do. wink;)


        Warning: Smarter than actual sales help. Hole in head optional.

        The bill for the thingamajigs was then announced as $6.96, whereupon I handed her a $5 bill and two singles, and I swear for a moment it looked as if she was going to have to take off her shoes to count, and failing that ploy, be forced to use her lifeline to call the engineers at NASA to correctly calculate that she owed me 4¢ in change thereof.

        Which is by way of noting that she was old enough to vote, and English-fluent, but that clearly second grade mathematics had completely kicked her ass, and she should be beaten with a stout rod until she could master the fundamentals of basic math.”



        Yes honey, we need common sense gun control like you all keep suggesting, every time a gun is used you people use your eyes to aim the gun so all we need to do is gouge all of yea eyes out so you can’t see to aim.

        1. You probably could have brought on hyperventilation if you gave her a five, two singles, and a penny.

      3. Sam, I mentioned earlier how there may come a day when someone desperately wishes for a weapon to defend himself.

        During the mosque mass shooting in New Zealand, Aziz saw the shooter. His own two young children, aged 5 and 11, I think, were inside the mosque. The shooter shot someone through a window. Aziz grabbed the only thing at hand, a credit card machine and ran outside, screaming at the shooter to follow him. He could hear his children screaming for him to get back inside. The shooter trailed him through the parking lot while Aziz dodged around cars. He threw the credit card machine at him. The shooter went to his car to reload, shouting at him that he was going to kill them all, when Aziz found a gun that he had discarded. He picked it up and pulled the trigger but it was empty. So he hurled the gun at the windshield, shattering it. That apparently spooked the shooter, who drove off. He was later captured by police.

        How many times during this paragraph do you think Mr Aziz passionately wanted a weapon that could take out the psychopath hell bent on killing everyone inside, including his two young children? I think that desire was probably playing on a continuous loop. Please note that Aziz at one point seized upon a discarded gun, only to find it empty.

        He hurled everything he had at the mass shooter, which amounted to a credit card machine and an empty firearm. It’s like being reduced to the stone age, throwing rocks at a firearm, with everyone’s life at stake.

        Were it not for Aziz’s quick thinking, the shooter would have continued to murder people at the mosque. A witness was adamant that without him, they all would have died.

        Mass shooters usually target the unarmed. They don’t want a fair fight. They want fish in a barrel. The only thing that usually stops a mass shooter is someone armed – be it the police or an armed citizen. In this case, Mr Aziz was lucky enough to be able to throw a hunk of metal at the shooter while he was reloading. A lot of things had to align in his favor for hurling a blunt object to work.

  7. March madness

    AR-15 semi-automatic rifle among prizes in police union raffle

    Plunk down $10 on a raffle ticket from the PBA, and you could wind up the proud owner of an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Sound unusual for a police union to raffle off such a powerful weapon? Detective Dave Totora, president of the union, said it is the first time PBA Local 309 has done a raffle with guns as prizes.

    The M&P Sport AR-15, the model being raffled, is manufactured by Smith & Wesson and advertised on its website as “engineered for a wide variety of recreational, sport shooting and professional applications.” It has a 30-round magazine, and sells for $739.

    1. it’s a nice piece. i like it, they got rid of the superfluous forward assist button

      who cares about bump stocks. aimed fire is always the way to go

  8. Good points

    The system will be gamed, all other gun buybacks have been scammed.

    What happens when the money runs out? Prorata payment, or will the legislature sit on its hands?

    Also seems like an awful lot of driving, standing in line, and filling out of forms for $150 plus the risks that you lay out.

  9. You mean like New Zealand?

    Before you romanticize other countries, ask why is it that we have <5% of the world’s population, free speech and arms ownership enshrined in our founding documents, and the vast majority of social media/internet free speech platforms?

  10. Gun control isn’t rocket science. US Lawmakers need only look to how every other civilized nation controls guns, making their citizens much safer than US citizens.

    1. ” US Lawmakers need only look to how every other civilized nation controls guns, making their citizens much safer than US citizens.”

      Samantha is this a simplistic approach to violence? I think so. Before the gun was invented, was there violence and murder? The answer is yes, but how could that be without guns? I understand the London homocide rate recently exceeded that of NYC’s. How has that occurred? Does anyone believe that there is a direct relationship to the number of guns and the number of gun deaths? Do you believe if one cuts gun ownership in half the number of gun killings would fall in half? If not, why not?

      How come in some areas of NYC there are no or almost no gun deaths and millions of people live there? One of the areas I lived in had no gun deaths and almost everyone had a gun. How come?

      1. You’re suggesting Samantha have some vague understanding of multi-variate analysis and some sense of how potent each of the vectors are in influencing outcomes. Good luck with that.

    2. Look what happened in New Zeland the other day, the massacre. And they are very cililized unlike the US right?
      2nd ammendment in the constitution. Maybe if the ¨hero¨who stopped the gunman enter the mosque had his own gun the tragedy would be limitted.
      Abolish the second ammendment of the US constitution and I´m sure you Will never have mass shootings…..

    3. The UK is now exercising knife control proposed through the use of the military. Good thing the citizens are now safer from guns.

    4. Australia confiscated over 600,000 firearms when they instituted very strict gun control in the 1990s. ( A huge number considering Australia’s relatively small population).
      Sam is evidently suggesting that something along those lines can be done in the U.S., and that it would be easy.
      It would be virtually impossible to replicate Australia’s gun control intiatives in America.
      The Heller? decision about 10 years ago indicates that the Court, as a whole, has an expansive interpretation of the 2nd Amendment.
      If anything, the two recent justices appointed will cement the current interpretation of the 2nd Amendment by the Court.
      Even IF the Court did a 180 on the Heller decision, there’s the practical issue of collecting millions of suddenly prohibited firearms.
      I wouldn’t count on a lot of voluntary compliance, but people like Sam could always volunteer to head up a “collection” committee, do a house to house collection drive, and force people to give up the now-prohibited firearms.😉
      Also, of the c.300 million firearms in the U.S., a significant portion exist that pre-dated the registration requirements that were instituted starting in the 1960s.
      You can look at how easily Lee Harvey Oswald ordered his rifle and revolver under an alias and had it delivered to a P.O. Box (rented under the same alias).
      As a kid, I remember thumbing through catalogues and magazines and I remember how easy the process was for mail order of firearms.
      There were no guns in our household, but looking back on it, millions of suplus WWII firearms and firearms from other sources were probably about as easy to order then as a pizza delivery is today.

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