By Christina Hager

ESSEX (CBS) – Essex Police Chief Peter Silva held up a bump stock that someone turned in this week as the Massachusetts ban on the devices went into effect. “To my knowledge, this is the only one that’s been turned in to date,” he said.

State Police said they received three bump stocks and one trigger crank, as Massachusetts now becomes the first state in the country to make the devices illegal.

Controversy has swirled around them ever since a gunman used one to essentially turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic one, unleashing hundreds of rounds on a crowd of concertgoers in Los Vegas.

Bump stock turned into Essex Police (WBZ-TV)

John Rosenthal, who heads up the group Stop Handgun Violence, lobbied for the ban. “There’s no question in my mind that people won’t turn them in,” he said.

Chief Silva says the one man who surrendered his bump stock in Essex this week explained why most are not likely to let go. “He was a little frustrated because of the fact that he’d paid a little over $250 on this piece here, and there was no redeeming value for him on the other side to recover that money.”

Rosenthal says that should not be an excuse to hold on to an illegal device. “These are devices that are designed to kill a lot of people quickly, and I’m not sure that we ought to be compensating people for giving up these devices that never should have been purchased in the first place,” he said.

All licensed gun owners in Massachusetts got letters explaining bump stocks would have to be surrendered by February 1. The new law carries stiff penalties, from 18 months to life behind bars for those found guilty.

Christina Hager

Comments (44)
  1. Allen Blaine says:

    Expost facto laws are illegal. When they pass a law on anything, if an owner has the item before the law then those items are not under the new law.

  2. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. When the NY SAFE Act was passed it’s estimated over 1 million gun owners did not register their “assault weapons”. In CT, in response to a similar law, the estimate is about 300,000. One CT legislator was “shocked” at the low level of compliance with the new law. I’m amazed he was shocked.

    Nobody has any idea how many bump stocks or trigger cranks are in MA, but I am willing to venture that the state has no where near enough cells to house all the people who haven’t turned them in. After all, the current prison population of NY State is only 51,000; where would they put 1 million prisoners? Concentration camps?

    Here in MA the prison population is less than 10,000 and there are about 350,000 people in MA with concealed carry permits, plus more with only FID cards for “long guns”. If only five percent of those persons owned the now banned devices, the prison population in MA would almost double, and those could be *life sentences*.

    Rep. Linksy made the comment that owners had the option to dispose of them out of state before Feb. 1. I’m not so sure about that. I think the way the law reads many people (remember we’re not all lawyers) interpreted it to mean there was no option other than turning it in. When CA passed a law banning standard capacity magazines (a law which has been enjoined by a federal judge) owners of such magazines were specifically given the option to sell them out of state. No such provision is in the MA bump stock ban.

  3. And that’s why it’s best to live in a state that doesn’t register firearms. You can’t confiscate what you don’t know a person owns. It’s also why these laws are pointless. It’s not like someone can’t drive out of the state to buy what they want to own. If a person is planning on doing something unthinkable like a mass shooting, breaking a state law is honestly not even on their mind as something to worry about. And the devices are so simple (and horribly inaccurate) that a person could honestly just print their own on a home 3D printer.

  4. Mark Leonard says:

    Of course nobody is turning them in. I wouldn’t be surprised if the ones that are turned in were done so to show damages for a future lawsuit against the state.

  5. Not only is the 2nd Amen invalid in the Peoples Dimmakratik Republik of Mass., the takings clause of the 5th Amen is invalid as well.
    Hard to believe that the American Revolution started in this now totalitarian backwater.

  6. Sho Rembo says:

    John Rosenthal, I can make my AK fire like a full auto using my thumb and a belt loop. Which are you going after first, my thumb or belt loops? Need some time to get some extra loops and thumbs so I can turn in one of each so you think you have actually accomplished something. While the rest of us laugh at you.

  7. Robert Ries says:

    Becasue F@#& Fascichusetts, that’s why.

  8. The thing that many people don’t seem to understand is that this retroactive ban is legal because you CAN keep your property and be in compliance.

    All you have to do is move the stock out of state. The state of MA has no legal authority to limit what you can possess in another state.

    The problem is that the letter that was sent to gun owners is deceitful and fails to mention this method of compliance. The letter explicitly lies by saying that confiscation is the only method of compliance.

    If that was the case, the state would have to pay people. But the state was very smart. The actual statute is legal. The letter describes an illegal law to coerce people to not just comply, but to comply in a way that allows the confiscation of these accessories.

    Either way, its dirty. Either way its tyrannical.


  9. Dave Ford says:

    The violent, wealth-plundering, Crown demands you disarm yourselves. What should become of the Crown and its loyalist officers who will not dissent?

  10. Greg Hay says:

    Any police officer that would infringe upon the natural rights of citizens to keep and bear arms is a traitor to his oath and his countrymen and should therefore be considered an enemy of the people.

  11. These treasonous piles of poop should be ashamed.

  12. Compensate…It’s in the Constitution. It’s the takings clause. The state should pay up.

  13. John Adams says:

    I thank the good Lord every day I do not live back east any longer. Nevada however in the last 50 years I have lived here is turning into LA East. I have been in Las vegas since I was ten years old. More liberals from LA showing up every day. It may be time to move Idaho or Wyoming. I just can’t stand the weather. Maybe southern Utah.

    1. Tim Graham says:

      Sadly, liberals are moving to Wyoming and Idaho too.

  14. HoChi Zacky says:

    Let me get this straight… murders and rapists get 5 to 15, but people who have a bump stock could get life? Yea okay – got it…

  15. “…and I’m not sure that we ought to be compensating people for giving up these devices that never should have been purchased in the first place.”

    What he didn’t say out loud is “…and I think we should be able to take ANYTHING AWAY by force of law without compensation, if we think it’s wrong for you to have it!”

    But that’s what he means.

  16. Bump stocks actually make it hard to shoot an Armalite Rifle 15 very accurately.

  17. Jake Ingel says:

    banning stuff doesn’t make stuff disappear but instead drives it underground, that’s exactly what happened with drugs. If u want to stop these events u must fix this broken community and society.

  18. Lee Enfield says:

    ~300K bumpstocks in circulation. Mass share by population would indicate about 6,000 buumpstocks in Mass. And ONE person turns in their ~$150 plastic part to avoid a life sentence. Something tells me gun owners aren’t in the mood to comply. If people won’t even turn in a $150 plastic part what do you think would happen when they are told to turn in their guns? Yeah, effectively zero compliance.

  19. And guess what: not only will those people not turn them in, they’re instead going to bequeath them to their children. So, F you, all states that hate liberty.

  20. Those that Created and passed this law and any law that restricts Citizens of any right should be dragged from the state house,Tarred,Feathered,and ran out of the country entirely.

  21. Chris Wagoner says:

    Funny thing is the article is incorrect. There is NO OFFICIAL report that states a bump stock was used in the Las Vegas shooting. In fact, we still do not know what firearms were used as no official report has been released. So we banned something that has never been reported to have been used in a crime. Way to go!! Idiots.

  22. John Russell says:

    devices used to kill many people??? what military uses bumpstocks? why has only 1 mass shooter used them?? they are horribly inaccurate
    This ban doesn’t matter to me because they are stupid and a waste of ammo but jesus christ get someone credible with any experience with firearms to speak about firearms or accessories.
    So tired of people straight up lying to instill fear and straight up lie to the lemmings effecting law abiding sport competition and hunting shooters….just like ar15 ban when a shotgun is obviously the best weapon to kill many at once.

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