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New Law: Background Checks Required For Handing Your Gun To A Friend?

Image source: NationalReview.com

Image source: NationalReview.com

Washington state voters Tuesday approved a wide-ranging new gun control law that could mandate a background check each time someone hands or loans a friend a gun.

That’s the charge by Initiative 594 opponents, who say the new law – which passed by nearly 60 percent of the vote – would implement burdensome restrictions on gun owners.

“It could put law-abiding gun owners in legal jeopardy,” said Catherine Mortensen, spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.

Under current law, background checks are required each time a person buys a gun at a store or gun shop. But I-594 expands that to mandate background checks for private sales as well as “transfers.”

For months, the NRA warned voters that I-594 would do far more than supporters acknowledged it would.

“Although they describe it as a ‘universal background check’ measure, it is not universal because criminals will never comply with the requirements” the No 594 website said. “It is, however, universal handgun registration. Under I-594, every time a handgun is transferred, the person receiving the handgun will have their name added to the government database being maintained by the state Department of Licensing.

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The website added, “Under the language of I-594, in virtually all cases, a person merely handing his or her firearm to a family member or a friend cannot do so without brokering the transfer through a gun dealer with the accompanying fees, paperwork, taxes and, in the case of handguns, state registration.”

The new law defines a transfer as the “the intended delivery of a firearm to another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment including, but not limited to, gifts and loans.”

David Kopel, an adjunct professor at the University of Denver’s law school, told The Seattle Times that I-594 would make illegal simply handing a gun a friend to someone without getting a background check.

“Clearly the kind of transfers that are covered under this are short-term,” he said.

A lawsuit against the new law is possible.

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The initiative received the backing of Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, who donated $1 million to support it. Michael Bloomberg’s organization Everytown for Gun Safety also donated $1 million.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who recently purchased the Los Angeles Clippers, donated $250,000 to the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which backed 594. Another Microsoft founder, Paul Allen, also donated to the Alliance. Venture capitalist and software entrepreneur Nick Hanauer also donated $1 million, according to The Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Supporters of I-594 outspent opponents by a wide margin.

“Gates is one of a handful of wealthy Seattle-area elitists who … shelled out big bucks to push this measure,” a statement from Allen Gottlieb, the chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms reads. “The campaign has become a battle of class warfare, pitting the rich against Washington State’s far-less-privileged middle class firearms owners, and their families and friends.”

Do you believe background checks should be required for private sales and “transfers”? Leave your reply in the section below:

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7 comments

  1. Any gun registration law is imposed purely to make it easy for a tyrannical govt to confiscate guns: if you are about to commit a crime with a gun, are you going to use your own registered gun? Of course not. You’d steal a another gun first. The laws don’t prevent gun crime .by criminals

    There are repeated examples of mentally disturbed people shooing people with illegally obtained guns. The laws don’t prevent gun violence by the insane.

    Last year, a disturbed student stabbed 2 dozen hi school classmates with a kitchen knife. Why didn’t we hear calls from the Libs to register knives?

    Why do we hear calls to ban assault rifles when no crime or mass shooting here was ever committed with an assault rifle?

  2. Ignorant is as ignorant does.
    If you don’t pay attention, you lose.
    I am curious to see what happens if a lawsuit is filed.

  3. And I suspect they all will get a tax deduction for their donations-so we all donated to the support of this ‘stuff’. Gates donates millions to humanitarian efforts and always gets a deduction.

  4. It’s just another path to gun confiscation.

  5. [email protected]@king communist obastard ass kissers who have FAR more money than their sorry asses could possibly be worth. Funny (?) how the insanely rich support total control over middle and lower class knowing THEY are safe in their lavish, ass kissing circles…

  6. Pardon me for saying so ! But all of Washington voters did not vote for this stupid law . The trouble Washington voters have is all the Dumshits live on the West side around the Seattle area .

  7. Do you think all these elitist billionaires have unarmed security forces and do not own guns? It is a typical, “do as we say, not as we do” dictate.

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