Ballot Initiative 594 (I-594) passed, and background checks will become mandatory in Washington State for purchasing guns.
Washington voters have approved the expansion of gun sales background checks after the state’s November election.
Initiative 594 applies the current criminal and public safety background checks used by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions. This initiative is causing major heartburn with gun sellers and gun buyers alike.
Even though criminal and public safely background checks dramatically reduce access to guns for criminals, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people from buying firearms, this new measure will cause major alarm for someone loaning a gun to a friend or giving one away as a gift. As well, it will take away the freedom to own guns without proper documentation.
If a private seller and buyer arrange a transaction, they will have to meet in person at a licensed dealer instead of a parking lot. The transaction has to go through the legalities set forth by I-594, meaning that background checks are mandatory for the sale to take place.