background checks

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

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.

Colin Fogarty / Northwest News Network files

Gun rights advocates are declaring victory after several firearms-related measures failed to advance in the Washington Legislature. But gun control advocates say they see momentum on their side.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

A measure to crack down on prohibited gun buyers has passed the Washington state House. Lawmakers voted 84 to 13 vote Friday to require gun dealers to alert the State Patrol when someone fails a background check to buy a gun.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Another gun control debate is brewing in the Oregon Legislature.This year's high-profile gun legislation would attempt to close what supporters of the measure call two loopholes.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

When a convicted felon, domestic abuser or fugitive tries to buy a gun in Oregon and is denied after a background check, a state trooper comes calling. Sometimes it leads to an arrest and prosecution.

But when this happens in Washington, it’s a different story.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

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.

BankingBum / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/gly8hy7

It happens thousands of times a year in Washington state: someone who isn’t allowed to own a gun tries to buy one but is denied after a background check. But even though it’s a crime to lie on a background check form, police rarely if ever investigate these cases.

BankingBum / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/gly8hy7

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.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

What happens when someone who’s not supposed to have a gun lies about their background and tries to buy one? In Washington state, the answer is not much.

FBI records show that between January and August of this year, 3,259 would-be gun buyers in Washington failed a federal background check. But police and prosecutors rarely, if ever, pursue these people.

glasgows / Flickr - tinyurl.com/h5s37yu

A new white paper by the Washington state attorney general’s office finds the state’s system of conducting background checks for gun purchases to be fragmented, complex and inconsistent.

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