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New Background Check for Washington Gun Owners Will Likely Be Decided by Voters

HB 1588 would mandate backround checks for ALL gun sales-public and private
(Photo by Christopher Capozziello/Getty Images)

You heard about this bill when Newstalk 870 interviewed Benton County Sheriff Steve Keane.

House Bill 1588 would require universal background checks for ALL gun sales in Washington state. Sponsor Jamie Pedersen, a Democratic representative from Seattle, said he planned to add a clause to the bill that would send it to voters in November. According to the Seattle Times earlier Tuesday:

We worked really hard, but we could not get to 50 votes without a referendum clause,” said Pedersen, D-Seattle, acknowledging that any referendum campaign would be expensive.

Governor Jay Inslee is lobbying hard for the bill; his office even gave the personal cell number of GOP Rep. Maureen Walsh to Gabriel Giffords, who was asked by Inslee to lobby her!

Current Washington law requires background checks for all guns purchased through gun shows, stores and other public entities. This bill would require anyone privately selling a gun to undergo such a check.

A group called the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility has been working behind the scenes since December with Democratic legislators in Olympia to push this bill.

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