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…)