Senate surprises with vote on firearms bill

The Washington state Senate gave new life to a bill targeting illegal gun buyers when it took a surprise floor vote on House Bill 1501 Thursday evening.

HB 1501 had sailed through the Washington House, but when it did not make it to a Senate floor vote by the usual cut-off last week, supporters thought it was doomed.

Members of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility made personal visits to Senators this week pushing for a vote in the waning hours of the legislature's regular session.

The bill targets the thousands of prohibited buyers who attempt to buy firearms in Washington each year. These would-be buyers fail criminal background checks and generally do not receive a firearm.  However, lying about eligibility on an application form is a state and federal crime.

An investigation by KING 5 and public radio's Northwest News Network found that police and prosecutors do not pursue these cases, even though attempted buyers could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony crime. Prohibited buyers have felony or domestic violence convictions or mental health issues.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Drew Hansen, D-Bainbridge, says the bill now moves to a re-vote in the House because of amendments that the Senate made. If approved, it then heads to the Governor Jay Inslee's office to be signed into law.

KING


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment