Criminals are Exploiting Loopholes
in Washington State Law More and More
An Everytown for Gun Safety analysis of ATF data found that the share of Washington crime guns that were likely trafficked increased by nearly 50 percent between 2006 and 2013. ATF considers it an indicator of trafficking when a recovered gun has
a "short time-to-crime" -- meaning it showed up at a crime scene
less than two years after its original retail sale.
Thousands of guns make the journey from lawful purchaser to crime scene each year. And current Washington law leaves the door open for dangerous people to get guns through unlicensed sales online and at gun shows, without background checks. But we can help close these loopholes by voting YES on I-594, the Washington State ballot initiative to expand the state's background checks law to cover all gun sales.
Sign the pledge to vote YES on I-594 this fall.
The share of Washington State crime guns that are likely trafficked keeps increasing -- and by 2013, nearly 1 in 3 guns recovered from WA crime scenes (29 percent) were likely trafficked. That represents a nearly 50 percent increase from the number of likely-trafficked guns recovered in 2006.
The problem doesn't affect Washington alone. In fact, guns first sold in Washington are recovered at crime scenes across the country. Adjusting for population, the top out-of-state destinations for firearms originally purchased in Washington were Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Montana, and Nevada.
Research has already shown that the flow of trafficked guns out of a state is tied to the strength of that state's gun laws -- and states that don't require background checks for all gun sales (like Washington) experience higher than average gun export rates.
Initiative 594: Closing the Background Check Loophole in Washington State
In November, Washington State voters will have a chance to close the loopholes that allow guns to end up in criminal hands by voting YES on I-594. I-594 would apply the currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions. Under I-594, everyone in Washington would be required to pass the same background check regardless of where they buy a gun and from whom they buy it.
Paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund for I-594; PO Box 21214, Seattle, WA 98111.