In April the state of Vermont moved to ban bump stocks, the ban officially began on the 1st October. In the run up to the ban, however, Vermont State Police held a voluntary amnesty for citizens wishing to give up their bump stocks. The scheme has not been the success that police might have hoped for.
The Vermont State Police advised in September that they would not be holding a buy back scheme but called on citizens in Vermont with bump stocks to turn them in or face up to a year in prison or a substantial $1,000 fine. On the 17th September the State Police issued a press release advising that:
Act 94 amends Vermont state law to prohibit the possession of bump-fire stocks. State statute defines the devices as “a butt stock designed to be attached to a semiautomatic firearm and intended to increase the rate of fire achievable with the firearm to that of a fully automatic firearm by using the energy from the recoil of the firearm to generate a reciprocating action that facilitates the repeated activation of the trigger.”
The law directs the Department of Public Safety to collect bump-fire stocks from persons who want to voluntarily and anonymously relinquish bump-fire stocks.
Bump Stock owners were advised that they could turn in their stocks at any of Vermont’s 10 state police barracks anonymously. These ‘voluntarily surrendered devices’ would then be “held in a secure area in the barracks pending destruction.” Vermont’s Act 94 also moved to ban high-capacity magazines – these, however, are subject to a grandfather clause.
The response to the amnesty has been somewhat disappointing, however, with just two bump stocks surrendered during the amnesty period. Adam Silverman, a Vermont State Police Spokesperson, has confirmed to local press that state-wide the grand total of two bump stocks had been handed in the run up to the 1st October. According to the Burlington Banner, state police declined to estimate how many of the devices might be in circulation in the state. Silverman also told the Banner that: “I think if people are worried about there being bump stock seizure forces moving about throughout Vermont, I don’t think that’s something they need to worry about.”