background checks

Police, prosecutors and victims say it’s time for the state of Washington to crack down on prohibited gun buyers. Lawmakers heard testimony Thursday on a proposal to require gun dealers to alert authorities when someone tries to buy a gun and fails a background check.

Domestic abusers, felons and fugitives are prohibited from owning guns. But what happens if they try to buy a gun? In Oregon, the State Police investigate or alert local police. In Washington state no one follows up.

But that could soon change.

Typically a survivor of domestic violence would never know if their abuser tried to buy a gun and was denied after a background check. But now a state lawmaker and a domestic violence survivor want to change that.

PROSECUTING ATTORNEY OF ISLAND COUNTY / Northwest News Network

 

Gun rights and gun control advocates are reacting to the first prosecution under Washington’s Initiative 594, the 2014 law that requires a background check for person-to-person gun sales.

Gun rights and gun control advocates are reacting to the first prosecution under Washington’s Initiative 594, the 2014 law that requires a background check for person-to-person gun sales.

The case involves a former Oak Harbor, Washington, resident named Mark Mercado who allegedly gave or sold a .22-caliber pistol to an acquaintance last November. Prosecutors said that gun was then used a day later in the murder of 17-year-old John Skyler Johnson, known as “Jay.”

In what’s believed to be the first prosecution under a 2014 voter-approved background check law, a former Oak Harbor, Washington, resident has been charged with illegally transferring a .22-caliber pistol that was later used in a homicide.

Fifty private gun sales have been blocked since Washington voters approved a background check law in 2014. That’s according to FBI data released in response to a public records request by public radio and KING-TV in Seattle.

Oregon lawmakers are heading home Thursday after closing the books on a contentious four-and-a-half week long session. House Speaker Tina Kotek brought down the final gavel just after 1 p.m. Thursday.

Gun buyers in Oregon could have to wait longer to get a weapon if there's a delay in processing their criminal background check. The Oregon House narrowly approved the measure Monday.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would close what some activists call a "loophole" in the state's criminal background check law. It allows gun sales to go through if a background check isn't completed by the end of the next business day.

President Barack Obama announced Tuesday that he's taking executive action in an attempt to reduce gun violence. But his actions will mean few immediate changes for many gun buyers in the Northwest.

Washington’s voter-approved background check law for private gun sales has been in effect for a year. But so far there’ve been no reports of arrests or prosecutions.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a bill Monday that will require criminal background checks for anyone who buys a gun from a private party.

A bill that would require criminal background checks for private gun sales in Oregon is on its way to the governor's desk. The Oregon House narrowly passed the measure Monday.

Supporters and opponents of a measure that would require criminal background checks on private gun sales testified at the Oregon Capitol Wednesday.

People who buy guns from private sellers in Oregon would have to clear a background check under a bill moving through the legislature.

The Oregon Senate could vote Tuesday on expanding background checks to include private gun sales.

Oregon lawmakers appear to moving ahead on a measure that would require criminal background checks on most private gun sales.

Oregon lawmakers are gearing up for another round of debate over firearm regulations.

From a proposed “stand your ground” law to a proposal to make it a crime to unsafely store a gun, gun rights and gun control measures abound in the Washington legislature this year.

M Glasgow / Flickr

We’ve seen rallies and demonstrations against Washington’s new voter-approved background check law. But now a gun rights group is planning a “we will not comply” gun show.

Guns are allowed in the Washington state Capitol, but state law makes it illegal to carry a firearm in a manner designed to intimidate.

Washington’s new voter-approved background check law appears to have prevented the sale of a rifle to a man with a warrant out for his arrest.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Several hundred gun rights activists rallied at Washington’s capitol Saturday to protest the new voter-approved law that requires background checks for person-to-person gun sales and transfers. Most participants in the "I Will Not Comply" rally were openly carrying handguns or rifles or both.

Auraelius / Flickr

Washington’s ballot measure requiring universal background checks for gun sales takes effect Thursday. 

Opponents of Initiative 594 are protesting what they see as overly broad restrictions on gun transfers. They plan to openly exchange guns at a rally in Olympia on Dec. 13 under the banner “I Will Not Comply.” But sponsors of the new law said the transfer provision will not infringe the rights of legal gun owners.

Sandy Brown is the president of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Washington’s new background check law for person-to-person gun sales and transfers takes effect Thursday. The law puts federally-licensed gun dealers in the role of conducting the checks. But one Thurston County gun store owner says it’s not a role he’s comfortable with.

At Private Sector Arms owner Don Teague shows me some of the guns he has on display. “This right here in AR-15/M4, this is here is an AK-47 variant,” Teague said.

M Glasgow / Flickr

Washington voters have overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to expand background checks for person-to-person gun sales and transfers.

M Glasgow / Flickr

A new Elway poll out Tuesday shows support for a gun rights measure on Washington’s fall ballot is flagging. Meanwhile, a dueling measure that would expand background checks remains popular.

Quagmar / Flickr

Oregon state troopers are now being dispatched when a person tries to buy a gun but fails the background check. It comes after critics complained that state laws that ban certain categories of people from buying guns were not being enforced.

Magnus Manske / Wikimedia

It’s a mid-term election year. Even so, some 300 candidates are vying for 162 local, state and federal positions in Washington state alone. So who are these would-be officeholders and what kind of troubles may they have had in the past? Formal background checks for candidates are not a part of the typical vetting process. But a former candidate wants to change that.

Pages