Lone gun control bill to survive Wash. legislature signed by Inslee
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A gun registry bill for felons has just been signed into law by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. It's the only gun control bill to make it through the state's legislative session.
The bill will require the Washington State Patrol to maintain a felony firearm conviction database and will help officers know when making a traffic stop if the registered owner is a felon and precluded from having a firearm.
It's similar to the sex offender registry, where felons have to sign up. But this is not a public registry -- only law enforcement officers will be able to have access so they can make a precautionary stop -- a so-called "Terry Stop."
"Their name's on that list -- it increases the steps toward a Terry Stop and a pat-down of that suspect," Rep. Mike Hope said. "I believe that's going to help a lot."
It's the only gun control measure to pass, even though one to control guns in protection order situations had enough votes, but wasn't allowed a vote in the Senate.
"You know, it's frustrating," Hope said.
The feeling in the gun shops for many is that one bill was more than enough for this legislative session and that there are already plenty of safeguards in place.
Theodore Conard, who was going through a background check at Federal Way Discount Guns, said he approves of the one piece of legislation that went through but no more.
"I feel there's enough, because you can't keep the bad guys from getting guns irregardless of what you do," Conard said.
The shop owner says the real issue is with mental health and those records should be in background checks.
"Otherwise you can pass all the laws you want," Moe Baghai said. "And if things like that aren't caught, people will slip through the cracks."
So for now, guns are available with no new restrictions -- other than a registry for felons.
Rep. Hope says there is virtually no chance of seeing any of the gun control bills come up during the special session, which starts Monday.