OLYMPIA, Wash. - Currently in Washington state, a gun can be purchased at some gun shows or on the street without a background check, but lawmakers are trying to change that.
Recent school shootings have prompted lawmakers to propose a new bill.
The bill would require background checks on all gun purchases, and it’s co-sponsored by a Republican cop and a Democratic lawyer, making reactions strong from both sides of gun control.
Ralph Fascitelli of Washington Ceasefire said universal background checks are their top priority.
“We did pass a bill four years ago that denied gun rights to the mentally ill in this state, but if they go to a gun show there’s no background check. It gives access to the mentally ill, the felons and all that,” Fascitelli.
Wade’s Guns, a licensed dealer, currently hands a form to a gun buyer to fill out and they do the background check. The new law would create a new form that private sellers would have to use.
A buyer would fill out the form and then take it to the dealer, police chief or sheriff. The fee is about $20, and they would run the background check.
A licensed gun dealer told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter John Knicely that the form is not enough and law enforcement is already backed up with requests.
The bill would make it a felony to sell a gun without a background check.
Dave Workman with the Second Amendment Foundation said it won’t stop criminals.
“They say we can solve the problem this way, but no you can’t because these people are criminals. They’re not going to obey the law,” said Workman. “In some cases that might deter a person from selling a gun to somebody they don’t know, but in the majority of these cases, for example, if the gun is stolen, that’s a felony to begin with.”
Both sides of the proposed bill have their lobbies working on it in Olympia.