The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on a number of gun control measures Wednesday.
The most controversial bill would expand universal background checks to apply to sales between private parties. They are already required for sales at federally licensed gun shops.
The prime sponsor, committee chair Jaime Pedersen (D-Seattle), said the legislation is needed to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands.
“I believe we have a broad acceptance in society that there are some classes of people that ought not to have access to firearms,” he said. “It would help the sellers of those firearms to sell responsibly. I don’t think this is a bill that will solve all of our problems. It is a small step we should take.”
Cheryl Stumbo, who survived a deadly shooting at the Seattle Jewish Federation in 2006, urged lawmakers to increase regulations.
“Until he barged into our office, it was just an ordinary day at work. I don’t have ordinary days anymore. He shot me,” she said.
Opponents say the legislation goes too far and has unintended consequences.
“The is not about the gun show loop hole, this is about restriction on all gun sale transactions,” said Brian Judy with the National Rifle Association. “This bill is going to be ineffective. Ninety-nine percent of gun owners are law-abiding citizens.”
Kelsey Wilson, a 22-year-old gun owner from Clark County, said the legislation is targeting the wrong people.
“My dad has purchased multiple guns for me as a gifts, she said. “If this bill passes, my dad could be arrested for providing me with self-protection. The fact is this will affect everyone except felons.”
Here are links to the four bills heard this morning:
- HB 1147 – Modifying first degree unlawful possession of a firearm provisions.
- HB 1612 – Concerning information on firearm offenders.
- HB 1588 – Requiring universal background checks for firearms transfers.
- HB 1676 – Encouraging safe storage of firearms.