BOISE, Idaho — Idaho ranks third in the country for gun ownership, and it's now been two months since the federal bump stock ban took effect. 6 On Your Side's Madeline White spoke to officials about how citizens have been responding and what level of action has been taken locally.
A bump stock is an attachment for semi-automatic rifles that allows shooters to fire at nearly automatic rates, and as of two months ago, those caught with a bump stocks by authorities could face a felony of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to a spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives-- or ATF-- it's unlikely any felonies have been given for bump stocks in Idaho. Still, he urges the continued destroying or surrendering of them to either the Boise ATF office or law enforcement agencies.
Law enforcement agencies who responded to our request for numbers of bump stocks turned in since March 26 include: Canyon County Sheriff with one, Meridian Police Department with four, Ada County Sheriff with the most-- with seven, Owyhee County Sheriff with none, Boise Police Department with none and Nampa Police Department with none.
Bump stocks came under scrutiny in 2017 after the Las Vegas shooter used the device in the worst mass shooting in modern US 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 considering our high gun ownership rates in Idaho, even now, are they gone? And without a warrant, how could authorities ensure violations are enforced?
The ATF spokesperson said they're depending on folks either destroying them themselves or voluntarily surrendering them to authorities.
He wants you to know that that even now-- two months after the deadline-- you won't be prosecuted for turning one in late. He urges folks to call the Boise ATF office to learn more, at (208) 334-1164.