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I-594 is a “simple measure to ensure that a background check is conducted for every gun purchase.”
No 18-page law is simple! Further, 594 is classic bait and switch…supporters constantly and dishonestly refer to “sales” when the language of the proposal regulates “transfers”, very broadly defined! Virtually every time a firearm changes hands, the transfer would be required to be processed through a licensed dealer. Worst of all, I-594 is being disguised as a simple background check measure, when in fact it would result in handgun registration!
I-594 proponents specifically claim that the initiative “does not create a registry.”
Virtually every temporary transfer of a handgun under the provisions of I-594 is subject to dealer regulation and completion of the Pistol Transfer Application, a copy of which RCW 9.41.110(9) requires be sent to the Department of Licensing for inclusion in the state database of law-abiding handgun owners.
I-594 includes “reasonable exceptions.”
The exceptions included in I-594 are drafted so narrowly that they are essentially meaningless. Examples:
Concealed Pistol License holders, who are subjected to fingerprint-based checks, are not exempt!
“Criminals go to gun shows to buy guns with no background check.”
In each of several studies by the U.S. Department of Justice over the last 23 years, between 0.6 and 0.8 percent of state prison inmates incarcerated for gun crimes obtained guns at gun shows. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Guns Used in Crime, July 1995; Firearms Use by Offenders, November 2001; and Firearm Violence, 1993-2011, May 2013.)
I-594 proponents cite a Justice Department study claiming that 80% of prison inmates obtained guns through private transfers.
The Justice Department study in question found that 77 percent of state prison inmates incarcerated for gun crimes had acquired their guns through “street/illegal sources,” including “theft or burglary,” “drug dealer/off street,” and “fence/black market,” or from “friends or family.” (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Firearm Violence, 1993-2011, May 2013.)
Criminals will ignore I-594 and continue to use these illegal sources.
“Private parties complying with the background check requirement are exempt from sales tax.”
Current law already exempts “casual and isolated sales of property” (such as private firearm sales) from sales tax…but subjects them to use tax. The sales tax exemption in I-594 is a disingenuous attempt to hide the facts that private transfers will be subject to use tax and that the records created by these dealer transfers will give the government the necessary tool to single out and collect more tax from law-abiding firearm owners.
“Law enforcement agencies and public safety officials agree that this (private firearm sale) loophole promotes illegal gun trafficking and enables individuals with criminal intent to purchase firearms.”
Numerous law enforcement officials, including the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS), have come out publicly opposed to I-594 and more are lending their voices every week. They understand that I-594 will divert their attention and resources away from keeping violent criminals off our streets and shift them to doing checks on law-abiding citizens, keeping us all less safe. Further, a police officer who loans a personal firearm to a fellow officer would face criminal prosecution under the provisions of I-594!
Give us your email address and we’ll keep you up to date about efforts to defeat I-594.
Paid for by National Rifle Association of America Washingtonians Opposed to I 594, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030
Pursuant to WAC 390-18-025(1), the Top Five Contributors are: National Rifle Association of America