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Washington: "Universal Background Check" Legislation Must be Defeated

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Unfortunately, the rumors of more attempts at gun control in Washington have proven true. House Bill 1588, "universal background check" legislation, was introduced today by state Representative Jamie Pederson (D-43), Mike Hope (R-44) and 21 other state Representatives. This bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee, where Representative Jamie Pederson is the chairman and Representative Mike Hope is a key Republican on this committee.

House Bill 1588 is the first step toward universal registration and clearly over-reaches and infringes on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.  This bill would create a massive regulatory scheme and a huge burden for law-abiding citizens. It also would require that anytime you sell any firearm to a family member or friend, you will have to go through a gun dealer or law enforcement agency and pay a $20 gun tax, with no guarantee of timely processing. Additionally, while Concealed Pistol License (CPL) holders are currently exempt from having to undergo a background check when purchasing a firearm from a dealer, there is no provision in this bill that extends the CPL exemption to private sales.

Washington currently has strong background check requirements in place. Furthermore, it is already a federal felony for any private person to sell, trade, give, lend, rent or transfer a gun to a person they know or should have known is not legally allowed to own, purchase or possess a firearm. It should be noted that every year, tens of thousands of people fail to pass the background checks required for firearm purchases, yet only a fraction are prosecuted for providing false information. Before lawmakers begin creating more onerous rules and regulations, they should start enforcing the laws that are currently on the books.

Those who urge passage of so-called “universal background checks” fail to grasp the fundamental truth that this will only affect law-abiding citizens and not criminals.  Criminals do not obey the law in the first place. For more information on restrictions on private transfers, please click here.

The entire legislature needs to know how Washington feels regarding universal background checks. It is imperative that you contact your state Representative and state Senator TODAY and respectfully express your opposition to House Bill 1588. It is especially important for you to contact your state Representative if he or she serves on the House Judiciary Committee. To determine who your elected officials are and for their contact information, please click here. Contact information for members of the House Judiciary Committeeis provided below.


House Judiciary Committee:

Representative Jamie Pedersen (D-43), Chairman

(360) 786-7826


Representative Drew Hansen (D-23), Vice Chairman

(360) 786-7842


Representative Jay Rodne (R-5)

(360) 786-7852


Representative Steve O'Ban (R-28)

(360) 786-7890


Representative Roger Goodman (D-45)

(360) 786-7878


Representative Mike Hope (R-44)

(360) 786-7892


Representative Laurie Jinkins (D-27)

(360) 786-7930


Representative Steve Kirby (D-29)

(360) 786-7996


Representative Brad Klippert (R-8)

(360) 786-7882


Representative Terry Nealey (R-16)

(360) 786-7828


Representative Tina Orwall (D-33)

(360) 786-7834


Representative Mary Helen Roberts (D-21)

(360) 786-7950


Representative Matt Shea (R-4)

(360) 786-7984




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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.