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Back in March, Florida passed significant gun control legislation just a month after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Part of that legislation, the ban on possession of bump stocks, went into effect on October 1.
"You could have purchased a bump stock a week ago, a year ago, or two years ago," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told WFLA, "but possession of it after October 1 is a felony." The ban goes into effect despite multiple lawsuits trying to block its enforcement. "They're argument is that ... you're taking away our Second Amendment rights," Sheriff Judd said. "This is not a firearm."
Bump fire stocks are gunstocks that can be added to semi-automatic firearms like AR or AK models, allowing them to mimic the firing speed of fully automatic weapons. "It works by firing," according to Guns Galore store owner Al Delatorre, "when you fire the gun, the stock cocks the gun and lets you fire it again without squeezing the trigger."
Several states had either already banned bump stocks or passed prohibitions after the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. And in March the Department of Justice announced a plan to change the regulatory status of bump stocks, classifying them as "machine guns." The proposed change would effectively ban the devices in the United States under existing federal law.
The Florida bump stock ban reads:
A person may not import into this state or transfer, distribute, sell, keep for sale, offer for sale, possess, or give to another person a bump-fire stock. A person who violates this section commits a felony of the third degree.
The statute defines bump-fire stocks as any "conversion kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device used to alter the rate of fire of a firearm to mimic automatic weapon fire or which is used to increase the rate of fire to a faster rate than is possible for a person to fire such semiautomatic firearm unassisted by a kit, a tool, an accessory, or a device."
Counties have been setting up drop off sites for owners to turn in their bump stocks. Those that don't could be facing up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.