According to the latest from the Seattle Times, a controversial bill requiring background checks for gun purchases is dead!

Late last night, Times blogger Brian M. Rosenthal reported supporters of controversial House Bill 1588 have admitted defeat. He pointed out that nothing is ever truly dead in the state capitol, but said the following in his report last night:

Bill sponsor Jamie Pedersen said, 'it does not appear that we’re going to make it there... I always thought this was a stretch goal for us,' said Pedersen, D-Seattle. 'It turns out it was too much of a stretch.'"

Gov. Jay Inslee and other high-ranking officials in Olympia spent several days lobbying legislators to sign the bill, which would create a variety of new restrictions for gun ownership in Washington. It would also have included background checks for private gun sales and reportedly opened the door for a state permit for ownership and possible gun registration.

However, this issue is not over. As the Rosenthal reported last evening:

A spokesman for the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which had been pushing the bill, said the group may consider running an initiative campaign in favor of expanded background checks.

A variety of factors were cited for the failure of the bill. Some legislators were turned off by the idea of sending a costly initiative to voters in November; others were concerned because of the vague language in the bill. In order to get the bill even close to passing the House Pedersen had to include a clause that would allow voters to decide the bill's fate by referendum this fall.

So, the bill is gone...for now. But fully expect more efforts in Olympia from the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility.