New Gun Law Designed To Protect Abuse Victims
STATE AIMS TO CRACK DOWN FIREARM PURCHASE BY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE OFFENDERS
A new law in Washington state aims to crack down on the people who attempt to purchase firearms even though they are prohibited because of previous convictions, no-contact orders, or mental illness.
Around 4,000 people each year in Washington attempt to buy a gun even though they are not legally allowed.
HB 1501 took effect in July, after it was overwhelmingly passed by lawmakers. The new law requires gun dealers to forward all information about customers who fail a FBI background check to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. The agency reviews each case and determines if the information should be forwarded to a local police agency for further investigation.
Prior to HB 1501 taking effect, law enforcement did not follow up on these cases to determine why legally prohibited buyers were attempting to obtain guns.
An investigation by NBC affiliate KING and public radio's Northwest News Network uncovered cases where rapists, robbers, and domestic abusers tried to purchase guns, with little consequence.