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Washington: Committee Hears Bill to Speed Up Background Checks

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Washington: Committee Hears Bill to Speed Up Background Checks

On January 17th, the Washington House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee held a hearing on House Bill 2467 to modernize firearm background checks in Washington and reduce delays.

House Bill 2467 was introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators who have recognized that background checks in Washington have imposed excessive delays on gun owners. Background checks for handgun transfers are done in an archaic manner by mail to local law enforcement, who are tasked with manually checking databases. CPL holders previously were able to avoid the archaic check for handguns and instead were allowed to go through the federal NICS as a courtesy, which provided instant feedback. That exemption ceased in July, 2019. The enactment of I-1639 also added transfers of semi-automatic rifles to this system, with the addition of an $18 fee. Though this archaic background check has a ten day waiting period to allow for completion, these factors, along with I-594 requiring background checks on all transfers, has resulted in ever increasing strain on this system, creating delays that drag out up to 30 days.

HB 2467 would direct Washington State Patrol to create a centralized state system for all firearm transfers that would allow firearm dealers to submit information electronically and receive feedback instantaneously. There would be an Accountability Board to oversee the implementation of this system, with a pro-Second Amendment group as a member. This bill has received the support of the Washington State Patrol and the Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs. Unfortunately, there will be a fee collected per check. Your NRA remains committed to reducing or eliminating fees to exercise Second Amendment rights and is working with legislators to allocate funds to ultimately reduce costs and delays for everyone involved.  

Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org and your email inbox for further updates on this bill and others affecting our Second Amendment rights in Washington.​​

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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.