If Rep. Pedersen has his way, Seattle's sidewalk gun bazaars will be a thing of the past.
Representative Jamie Pedersen (D-Seattle) filed a bill today to close Washington State's so-called "gun show loophole." HB 1588 would require mandatory background checks for firearm sales in the state, even those between private individuals.
Sec. 1. The legislature finds that there is broad consensus that certain people, such as felons, minors, and involuntarily committed persons, should not be eligible to possess firearms for public safety reasons. Background checks are an effective and easy mechanism to ensure that firearms are not sold to those who are prohibited from possessing them. However, because background check requirements apply only to transfers by licensed firearms dealers, many firearms are currently sold without a background check, allowing felons and other ineligible persons to gain access to them. The legislature intends by this act to strengthen our background check system by broadening the requirement for a background check to apply to all firearms sales in the state.
Pedersen has 22 co-sponsors signed onto the bill, including Representative Mike Hope (R-Lake Stevens), a former police officer, and Representative Maureen Walsh (R-Walla Walla) who is fast earning a reputation as the most progressive member of the House Republican Caucus. Not that this broad support for such a sensible and obvious reform will do the bill much good, what with the controlling state Senate committee placed firmly in the hands of NRA-endorsed Senator Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley). Thanks again, Rodney Tom!