Such a law would allow law enforcement officials to take more time in conducting background checks and also make firearms training a requirement for getting the permit
The Center Square Washington
Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday morning said he plans to ask next year’s state Legislature to pass a permit-to-purchase law requiring prospective gun buyers to apply directly to a state or local law enforcement agency to obtain a purchase permit prior to approaching any seller.
Such a law would allow law enforcement officials to take more time in conducting background checks and also make firearms training a requirement for getting the permit.
“In the bill that I will talk about in some depth right now is a permit-to-purchase bill that will treat guns with the severity that they deserve,” Inslee said at a press conference from Tukwila where he and Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced two other firearm safety measures. “You need to get a license to drive a car in the state of Washington. You need to get a license to go fishing. It’s time that you get a license to make sure that you have safety training to purchase a gun in the state of Washington, and it’s high time that we pass a bill to make sure you get a permit before you purchase a firearm.”
The governor, noting that 23 Washingtonians died of gun violence the previous month, explained his reasoning.
Inslee said such laws are effective, citing permit-to-purchase legislation that passed in Connecticut that he claimed resulted in a 40% reduction in gun violence. He went to say that states that have removed gun safety laws have seen a 60% increase in gun violence in those states. The governor did not specify the sources of the statistics he used.
“These laws work,” Inslee said.
As such, he will be pushing for similar legislation in Washington.
“That’s why we will be introducing as governor’s request legislation a law to require a permit to purchase, receive, and transfer a gun in the state of Washington,” Inslee said. “We think that this is not only common sense but we believe it will be very, very effective in this scourge.”
Dave Workman, senior editor with the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation, thinks otherwise.
“What other constitutionally-protected right to you need permission from the police department before you can exercise it?” he asked rhetorically.
Should a permit-to-purchase law become reality in Washington, Workman predicted it would be hit with lawsuits at the state and federal levels.
He pointed to what’s going on in Oregon as an example.
In November, voters in Oregon approved Measure 114. It would ban the manufacture, purchase, or sale of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition. It also requires people to take a safety course and pass a background check to get a permit allowing them to purchase a firearm.
The law was set to go into effect on Dec. 8, but the Oregon Supreme Court on Dec. 7 denied a state Department of Justice petition asking the court to throw out a lower court’s temporary restraining order blocking the law from taking effect.
Harney County Circuit Court Judge Robert Raschio issued the order on Dec. 6, saying the law violated the Oregon State Constitution’s right to bear arms.
The measure is the subject of several pending state and federal lawsuits and the state Attorney General’s Office has conceded that local law enforcement agencies have made it clear they will need more time to put a permit-to-purchase system in place.
Workman expressed skepticism that a permit-to-purchase law in Washington would have the desired impact on crime.
“There’s no indication at all it will prevent crime,” he said. “It’s just another burden on law-abiding citizens.”
Two other proposed bills at the press conference included a ban on assault rifles and ensuring gun manufacturers and sellers face consequences for irresponsible practices that let guns fall into the wrong hands.
The assault weapons ban renews Ferguson’s call for a prohibition on the sale, manufacture or importation of military-style assault weapons. This is the second time Inslee has joined Ferguson to call for a ban on the sale of assault weapons.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue, and Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds.
“I feel there’s a real opportunity here for the Legislature to get that important law passed,” Ferguson said.
The other piece of legislation is intended to ensure that firearms makers and sellers will face liability if they fail “to establish, implement and enforce reasonable controls in the manufacture, sale, distribution and marketing of firearms.” The bill also makes provisions allowing victims to sue when the firearms industry fails to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals.
The bill is sponsored by Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, and Rep. David Hackney, D-Tukwila.
Ferguson explained that the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act shields gun manufacturers and sellers from liability in some circumstances, noting that Congress invited states to regulate firearm sales and marketing practices by exempting such state laws from PLCAA.
“We know we can act. We know we should act. And we know we will act this session of the Legislature,” Inslee said. “And the reason is, Washingtonians demand assertive, effective, and protective gun safety laws. And we intend in this session of the Legislature to give Washingtonians assertive, effective, and protective laws to protect them and their children against this epidemic of gun violence.”
All three bills will be presented for lawmakers’ consideration during next year’s legislative session, which runs from Jan. 9 through April 24.
This report was first published by The Center Square Washington.
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Define gun violence. Does he mean death by gun? Does this include suicide? Criminal activity? Defensive gun use? Accidental death? What does it mean?
Why is it that politicians just lump all of the numbers together into one pot and call it gun violence? Why not do something about the rampant out of control crime? Of which these criminals (who are criminals so they don’t care too much about breaking gun laws) are responsible for most of the “gun violence”. Why is it the CDC conveniently left out the statistics regarding defensive gun use in their recent release of statistics regarding gun deaths? Its all a matter of making Americans defenseless.
‘These laws work’. Last I checked, bad guys don’t follow laws. Hence…they are the bad guys. The gun isn’t the problem. Its the person behind the hand holding it. And how does he work the second amendment into these ‘laws’?
Bad guys don’t follow any laws, so what’s the point?
If I am driving down a state highway, and someone breaking traffic laws like speeding or driving carelessly or recklessly causes an accident which involves my car, maybe even causes injury or death to someone in my car, can I sue the Washington State Patrol for not preventing that person from breaking the law? Makes about as much sense and saying a gun manufacturer somehow has control over what someone does with their product. Maybe all manufacturers of baseball bats or hammers or shovels should also be held responsible for what someone does with their products too.
Don’t forget manufacturers of forks, spoons, and knives. Those things are making people fat, which is causing death from disease and poor health. Those murderous flatware manufacturers!!!
Inslee has once again demonstrated that Liberal Democrats believe you can keep lethal weapons out of the hands of lawless criminals by passing laws.
If you are going to compare a drivers license to a gun purchase permit then you best remove the law in place that prohibits Washington residents from carrying self defense insurance after all it is required to drive a car legally. It is ludicrous to compare a fishing license with a purchase permit. What a couple of ‘maroons’ as Bugs Bunny would say.