Bump stock owners now face risk of felony, effective Tuesday

The attachments allow shooters to fire semiautomatic rifles at nearly automatic rates.
Posted at 4:16 PM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-29 15:24:58-04

BOISE, Idaho — Bump stocks are now banned in all 50 states, including in Idaho-- a state that ranks third in the nation for gun ownership.

"At this point, they're in violation of the law, so we'd like them to either destroy them or turn them in as soon as possible... there was a 90 day period in which people were supposed to turn in or destroy their bump stocks. And that period ended yesterday," said Jason Chudy, Public Information Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

If caught with a bump stock by authorities, current owners could face a felony, subject to up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

"It's all gonna be dependent on the situation."

A bump stock is a firearm attachment that uses the recoil of a semi automatic rifle to allow it to fire rapidly at nearly automatic rates. Federal authorities estimate there are about 500,000 in circulation nationwide.

"It sends out rounds very very quickly, almost machine gun style. As a matter of fact, the new ruling actually defines a bump stock as turning a firearm into a machine gun."

Bump stocks came under scrutiny after the Las Vegas shooter used the device in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, killing 58 people. Soon after, President Donald Trump vowed to outlaw them.

"We're knocking out bump stocks. I've told the NRA-- bump stocks are gone," said President Trump.

But even now-- are they gone? And without a warrant, how could authorities ensure violations are enforced? Chudy says they're depending on voluntary surrender.

"Part of the responsibility as a firearms owner is to use those firearms legally," said Chudy. "We expect firearms owners to follow the law."

This ban is the only major gun restriction Idaho's seen from the federal government in the last few years.

"Our recommendation is for folks to contact the Boise ATF office make an appointment to turn them in."

Or, if you would rather, Chudey says you can turn the devices in to law enforcement or destroy them yourself.

"So if they want to cut it in half, if they want to physically crush it, um, then those are good manners which are recommended."

You can contact the Boise ATF office by calling (208) 334-1164. More information can be found here.