Facing a Friday deadline for committee votes on bills dealing with policy matters, members of the House Judiciary Committee passed several gun control measures this week.
Gun control promises to remain a top issue for lawmakers throughout the 105-day session in the wake of the deadly shootings in Connecticut and Colorado.
Here are the three bill the committee passed on Thursday:
- House Bill 1612, sponsored by Rep. Mike Hope (R-Lake Stevens), requiring all firearm offenders to register with the sheriff of the county they live in and for Washington State Patrol to maintain a central registry of firearm offenders, passed 12-to-1.
- House Bill 1839, sponsored by Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Kirkland) would waive background checks required for the purchase of a firearm for currently employed police officers and for people who can provide an up-to-date concealed weapons license. The bill passed unanimously.
- House Bill 1840, also sponsored by Rep. Goodman, would force people who have been served with restraining order for domestic violence to surrender their guns while the order is in place. The bill passed 10-3.
Earlier this week the committee narrowly passed House Bill1588, which would require anyone selling a firearm to another person to have local law enforcement or a licensed gun dealer conduct a background check. The controversial measure passed on a 7-to-6 vote. The bill has the support of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs while the National Rifle Association opposes it.
All four bills will now head to the House Rules Committee for approval before they head to the floor.