State wants to buy your bump stocks and trigger cranks

DOVER — The Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security will host two buyback events this month where owners of bump stocks and trigger cranks can turn them in for cash.

Such devices, which accelerate a gun’s rate of fire, were banned by the state earlier this year after Gov. John Carney signed House Bill 300 in June. The legislation makes it a crime to possess, sell, buy or otherwise transfer bump stocks and trigger cranks.

A first offense of simply having a bump stock is a Class B misdemeanor, while any subsequent violation or any attempt to transfer or receive such devices is a Class E felony. The former carries a penalty of up to six months in jail, while a Class E felony could result in a sentence of five years.

The state will hold its first buyback Saturday from 10 to 2 in three locations:

• Delaware State Police Troop 3 in Camden, 3759 S. State St.

• Delaware State Police Troop 4 in Georgetown, 23652 Shortly Road

• Delaware State Police Troop 2 in Newark, 100 Lagrange Ave.

A second buyback will take place Wednesday from 4 to 8 at the same locations.

The program is for Delaware residents only and does not apply to wholesalers, retailers, manufacturers or distributors. Individuals will receive $100 per bump stock and $15 for a trigger crank. A total of $15,000 will be allocated, with the program ending once that funding expires or one year passes.

A person can choose to relinquish bump stocks or trigger cranks anonymously, but he or she will not be compensated.

Payment will not apply to homemade bump stocks or trigger cranks.

Participants must detach the devices from firearms and bring a valid Delaware photo identification. Anyone planning to take part in the program should contact the Department of Safety and Homeland Security at 744-2690 or email terry.pepper@state.de.us.

“We made real progress in improving Delaware’s gun safety laws to protect communities across our state, and it’s critical to follow the regulations created as a result of enacted legislation,” Gov. Carney said in a statement.

While bump stocks were little-known even to many gun owners 13 months ago, they entered the spotlight after an Oct. 1, 2017, shooting in Las Vegas. That incident saw a gunman reportedly use several bump stock-enabled firearms to kill 58 people attending a country music concert. It was the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

The First State is one of several jurisdictions to ban bump stocks since.

“We recognize that when these items were purchased by their owners they were not illegal,” Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security Robert Coupe said in a statement. “However, the law improves the safety of our state by removing these dangerous weapon add-on devices from our communities and we are grateful to the citizens of Delaware that are taking the opportunity to turn in their trigger cranks and bump stocks.”

House Bill 300 had a long and arduous path to passage that saw the two chambers of the General Assembly send it back and forth several times.

The measure defines a bump stock as “an after-market device that increases the rate of fire achievable with a semi-automatic rifle by using energy from the recoil of the weapon to generate a reciprocating action that facilitates repeated activation of the trigger” and a trigger crank as “an after-market device designed and intended to be added to a semi-automatic rifle as a crank operated trigger actuator capable of triggering multiple shots with a single rotation of the crank.”

 

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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