House OK’s Bill Targeting Illegal Attempts to Buy Guns

Legislators have OK’d a get-tougher policy for would-be gun buyers who flunk their background investigation.  Dan Frizzell has that story.

“It is a crime to attempt to purchase a firearm unlawfully, when you know that you’re prohibited. All we’re trying to do is enforce that current law, really put some teeth into it. “

That’s Representative Drew Hansen.  The Bainbridge Island Democrat put together a bipartisan team last year to look into something he’d discovered: If you’re on the no-gun list and you try your luck anyway, there are no red flags, no alerts to let anyone know that someone who shouldn’t have a firearm is trying to obtain one anyway. He wrote a bill to change that, and Friday afternoon it received an 84-to-13 boost on its way to the Senate.

“If you walk into a firearm store even though you are prohibited from possessing a firearm, there’s basically no follow-up right now.  Law enforcement doesn’t know about it, there’s no investigation or referral for prosecution.  If you’re ineligible because of a domestic violence crime, your survivor doesn’t know about it and that’s a real problem. “

Lawmakers from both sides of the party aisle spoke in praise of the policy during floor debate.  That’s a good sign in Washington’s divided Legislature, and bodes well for Hansen’s bill to make it to the governor’s desk before a scheduled April 23rd adjournment. In Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.