It came right down to the wire in Olympia on the last day of bill consideration, but a measure to expand background checks in Washington State died yesterday in the state House of Representatives. For now . . .
I’ve been following HB 1588 closely for some time now, because it would have required background checks for nearly all private firearms sales. Compared to many other civilian-disarmament bills floating around out there, this one wasn’t too poisonous. Sponsors tried to make it more palatable by exempting CCW permit holders, and they tried to ease the fears of a backdoor universal gun registry by prohibiting FFL dealers or law enforcement agencies from retaining copies of Form 4473s.
HB 1588 unfortunately survived the Great NW Gun Ban Bill Cull 0f 2013, but its Democratic sponsors (who have a majority in the House) couldn’t even round up enough fellow Democrats to guarantee its passage out of the House of Representatives. The session deadline was only hours away when its sponsors decided not to bring it to a vote. Even if it had somehow passed the House, it would have died a painful death in the GOP-controlled state Senate.
So I’m breathing a short-lived sigh of relief. This bill is dead, but much bigger threats loom on the horizon in the form of Chuck Schumer’s draconian (and almost Orwellian) version of ‘universal background checks.’
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.