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.