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City Council Will Discuss Supporting Increased Gun Sale Background Check Requirements

The Tacoma City Council is scheduled to take up what could be a pretty controversial topic. A resolution in support of Washington State Initiative 594 appears on the agenda for next week's Council meeting.

A resolution expressing support for the passage of Initiative Measure No. 594 submitted for the November 4, 2014 General Election which reads as follows:


Initiative Measure No. 594 concerns background checks for firearm sales and transfers. This measure would apply 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. Should this measure be enacted into law? [ ] Yes [ ] No [Mayor Strickland]

The resolution, put forward by Mayor Strickland, and sponsored by Deputy Mayor Woodards and Council Members Mello and Walker, would give the City Council's support to the statewide initiative requiring background checks for all gun sales in the state.

Currently background checks are federally required for sales by firearms dealers, but allows for the dealer to complete the sale if the background check is not returned within three business days. Washington state law only requires background checks for the sale of pistols, and only if the seller is a firearms dealer. The sale is also allowed to proceed if the results of the background check don't come back within five business days.

I-594 would apply the Washington state requirements for firearm sales by licensed dealers to all firearms sales where at least one of the parties is in Washington. This would include sales and transfers at gun shows, online, and between unlicensed private individuals, and would apply to all firearms, not just pistols.

The City has declared next week (September 22 through 26) to be "Gun SafeT Week," and is asking all Tacoma gun owners to be safe in their use and storage of their weapons. You can expect to start seeing gun safety ads on posters, buses, and television. There will be events all week, including a community discussion on Wednesday.

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