PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With a federal ban on bump stock devices going into effect, owners of the devices are required to destroy them or hand them over to the authorities.
In Rhode Island, bump stocks have been banned for months. State police told Eyewitness News no one has turned in any of the devices to them so far, though they couldn’t speak to whether other police departments have collected any. They said the law doesn’t include specific instructions for people turning them in, only requiring owners to surrender them to any police department for disposal.
“The bottom line is they have to turn it in. I’m not surprised, because people forget, so publicity to it would be important,” Eyewitness News law enforcement analyst Steven O’Donnell said Tuesday.
O’Donnell, a former state police colonel, said he believes the ban is the right decision for the country.
“It really has no purpose out on the street, no purpose for hunting with it, so it’s a good move by the federal government,” O’Donnell added.
In June 2018, Gov. Gina Raimondo signed into law a ban on bump stocks, which are attachments for semi-automatic guns used to make them fire faster. Raimondo pushed for the legislation after authorities reported a bump stock was used in the Las Vegas massacre.
The Rhode Island 2nd Amendment Coalition said they weren’t opposed to the legislation after it added a 90-day period for people to get rid of their bump stocks.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms wouldn’t say how many Rhode Islanders have turned in their bump stocks because they have the option to bring them to local departments to destroy them.
This story was edited from its original version to clarify Rhode Island’s bump stock law and surrender requirements.