Two gun bills pass out of Senate committee ahead of key deadline

By | April 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

Two firearm bills passed out of the Senate Law and Justice Committee Tuesday, including one to create a central registry for felony firearm offenders.

HB 1612 would require the Washington State Patrol to maintain a database of felony firearm offenders. If a person is convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity of a felony firearm offense, the court can require them to register with their local sheriff’s department.

“Over 50 percent of all offenders who have committed homicide have had a prior gun offense,” said Rep. Mike Hope (R – Lake Stevens), also a Seattle police officer. “This bill puts them on the radar screen for law enforcement.”

Hope said that similar legislation has been adopted in other areas of the country. After implementation in New York, the city saw a 17 percent drop in homicides.

Offenders would be required to provide their name, along with any aliases, their address, and information related to their gun offense. Registration would be required for four years following the offense and would only be used by law enforcement.

“It’s not going to solve all the problems, but it’s another important tool for law enforcement to know when they’re in contact with someone who has a prior firearm offense,” said Don Pierce with the Sheriffs and Police Chiefs Association of Washington State. (more…)

House committee passes several firearm bills

By | February 21, 2013 | 0 Comments

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.