A bill is expected to be signed in Washington state that would require gun dealers to alert the state police whenever a person does not pass a NICS background check during a gun sale. The bill was sent to Gov. Jay Inslee to sign last week.
According to this story from krem.com, the background check application is sent to the local law enforcement agency, who then passes it along to the FBI for completion. The federal agency then approved or denies the applicant.
If the bill passes, gun sellers would then have to send any denied applicants’ name and information to the Washington State Patrol, the story says.
The bill, HB 1501, passed the Republican-controlled Senate unanimously on Thursday and won House concurrence with an 83-13 vote on Friday, according to this story from guns.com.
The story says the state police would then establish a new database for the denials. The information would then be available to Washington sheriffs and police chiefs within two days. The story says those with active protection orders, harassment, or restraining orders would also be notified if the subject of the order has been denied a gun purchase through a NICS check.
Gun dealers will have two days to report denied applicants to the police.
The proposed change would require $1.5 million a year in new expenditures, the story says.
Those opposed to the measure say there are a number of people annually who are erroneously denied a purchase of a firearm via the overloaded NICS system and understaffed FBI—and clearing up such an error can take months or years.
The krem.com story quotes Jeremy Ball, the general manager of Sharp Shooting in Spokane. He said he’d would support taking the extra step if he could be guaranteed a person would be prosecuted.
“I guess the question is why the information collection if they’re not going to prosecute anyway,” Bail said in the story.
The story says the language of Section 6 of the bill says if there is available funding for local law enforcement to investigate, criminal investigations will move forward, but there’s no guarantee that money will be spent on these cases.
“I think that you could get the firearms community behind it assuming that’s what the intent was to actually prosecute criminals for fire arms offenses then absolutely. Bad guys with guns aren’t good for my business either,” Ball said in the story.
The guns.com story says a law in neighboring Oregon, directives have been pushed by state officials ordering that in the event of a denial via the state’s Firearm Instant Check System (Oregon does not participate in the federal NICS system), state troopers are dispatched from patrol to the gun dealer’s location to investigate the matter.