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From the NSSF Government Relations desk, we learn of a bill in Washington State that has passed the Senate (unanimously) and the House and is on the way to Governor Jay Inslee for signature. The TL:DR version: Washington FFLs must notify the State Patrol of any NICS denials. Is this “common sense gun control?” What say you? More info follows . . .

Attention Washington State FFLs: State NICS Denial Database Bill Passes Legislature, Goes to Governor


Washington State legislators have sent Gov. Jay Inslee a bill that would require FFLs in your state to contact the State Patrol following any denial on a background check for a firearm transfer. The proposal, HB 1501, passed the Republican-controlled Senate by unanimous vote on Thursday and achieved concurrence in the House on a 83-13 vote on Friday, sending the bill to the governor’s desk.

The bill language mandates that Washington State FFLs notify the State Patrol within two business days after receiving any National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) denial on a Form 4473. The State Patrol would have to establish a new database for the denials and make the information available to sheriffs and police chiefs within two days. Those with active protection, harassment or restraining orders would also be notified if the subject of the order has been denied purchase of a firearm.

The Washington Office of Financial Management determined that the unfunded measure would cost $1.5 million a year to implement the database system. Those opposed to HB 1501 argued there are erroneous denials through NICS, which can take months or years to rectify.

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  1. another Anti American bill from the left that advocates civil disobedience to further their agenda and purposely disregard the constitution! Who want too adopt Muslim law and rule like an Imam! They embrace Illegal Aliens, and leftest laws weakening our resolve as a people for sheeple control, their morality is in question, most likely these congressmen and women are sleeper agents for ISIS. at best domestic terrorists!

    • Umm, the article states that the bill passed the REPUBLICAN controlled Senate UNANIMOUSLY. So care to rephrase your rant?

    • Well, I’m not following his rant either. But…WA Senate has 49 members, 24 are Republicans, 25 are Democrats. Not sure where that “Republican Controlled” bit came from, but the numbers don’t match up. Can’t see why that was stressed in the article if it passed unanimously…

  2. Meh, I have a hard time getting worked up over this. Either the Popos will actually start enforcing firearms laws against felons, or there will be so many false positives that they will simply ignore all of them. Either way I don’t see this as a bad thing.

    • I’m inclined to agree. From practical standpoint it probably won’t change much.

      Philosophically, I do think it is a tiny, if meaningless, step in the wrong direction.

      • If anything, it will ‘train’ them to ignore them.

        All that paperwork is gonna drop on someone’s desk who’s not gonna like it one bit, and treat it accordingly.

        Civil Serpents are masters of the “You make it hard, I’ll make it easy.” mindset…

    • Yea I am in agreement here. It’s feels like a lose, but it doesn’t say the State Patrol has to goto your house to get your guns. But we do know there are many false positives. It really should be a FED job, I know crazy that I want the Fed’s to be the ones in control here, as it’s the Fed check that they didn’t pass. But overall, this seems much ado about nothing.

  3. Its illegal to lie on those forms. Good chance if you get a denial you lied on the form. Those people depending on the circumstances should be charged with a crime not just put in a data base. If the denial wasn’t warranted than everything should be dropped. Having another list doesn’t really do much but to create another list of people trying to get guns. It’s like why monitor a problem if you aren’t going to do anything about it?

      • And common address? I have heard African Americans are more likely for a denial because of common names. But like I said depending on the circumstance. And they obviously didn’t lie in that case.

        • FBI NICS/NCIC criminal/prohibited checks do not use address as a determining factor. Name, DOB, and SSN are used.

          If your name is even SIMILAR to a prohibited person, it may cause a delay where a person must look at physical descriptors and other databases to determine the correct identity of person in question. This happens to about 20% of purchases!!!!

          Many, if not most out right denials come because databases are not up to date, contain incorrect information (human error), or simply can’t differentiate the identity of the person applying vs the similar named prohibited person.

          Another large group of denials comes because people misread or misunderstand the questions on the 4473 form. Which recently changed and now contains an even more awkwardly posed question.

          All of the denials I have listed above can happen to people that are legal gun owners and NOT actually prohibited from firearm ownership.

          Many states now have legal marijuana use in one form or another. Admitting this on the form (i.e. telling the truth) would also prohibit you from owning a gun.

    • If the denial wasn’t warranted than everything should be dropped.

      Everything will certainly be dropped … $10,000 later in attorney’s fees to compel the police to drop any charges.

      This is just another way for attorney’s to milk the public.

    • @NorincoJay: Then you’re saying you want me to be arrested because a small police department in New Jersey did not keep up their records! I got a denial back in 2012–I was told it was because of an outstanding restraining order in New Jersey… from 1989! It wasn’t until I was applying for early Social Security two and a half years later that I discovered that the judge who granted our divorce dissolved the restraining order in 1992. I was able to successfully appeal the denial and I’m now not only able to own and possess firearms and ammunition, I can also sell them as a sporting goods associate at a Walmart.

      However, NorincoJay, if you had your way, I’d have been arrested shortly after the denial. Not only would it have caused me a world of difficulty, it would have negatively impacted my second wife, who was disabled and needed my help on a daily basis, not to mention the income my job brought in!

      The lesson here–not every denial is due to the applicant lying on the 4473. Mistakes can be made on law enforcement’s side. Draconian laws like what you propose would be terrible for so many otherwise innocent people.

  4. I suspect that this is unconstitutional for the same reason that the feds are prohibited from using NICS information to prosecute people. But authoritarians don’t care much for the Constitution, so no surprise this would pass. I just hope it gets challenged and sunk fast.

    • The FBI does keep a record of “denies” but is prohibited by federal law from retaining “proceeds” in a central database.

      A very small number of “denies” do get sent to U.S. Attorneys, but very few get investigated and prosecuted. It’s just not a priority for them.

  5. “Those with active protection, harassment or restraining orders would also be notified if the subject of the order has been denied purchase of a firearm.”

    Perhaps they should throw in a list of local gun dealers and a 15% off coupon?

  6. I cannot imagine someone not knowing that they are in the deny category, unless it is caused by a secret Restraining Order or ID theft with a phony driver’s license. If you are engaging in shady business with shady characters, the government probably knows.

    As far as domestic abusers are concerned, if you have to beat up on your spouse, your self-control is such that you probably shouldn’t be allowed to possess a firearm.

    • “I cannot imagine someone not knowing that they are in the deny category,…”

      The problem are the false denials. For every legit denial, there are *lots* of false triggers.

      The cops will get royally pissed-off spending a *lot* of time tracking down the legit ones.

      This is a classic case of a law that sounds really good, but will be ridiculously expensive to enforce, considering how few prosecutions will come from it…

    • “…I cannot imagine someone not knowing that they are in the deny category”

      Then you, sir, lack imagination.

      What if your name is John Smith. Or Jose Gonzalez. Or Aryan Choppra. What if you, like me, share the same name as your father. What if you, like me, share the same name with your father and grandfather? All three of us were born in the same town in the same state and shared many common addresses throughout our lifetimes. And these are just the questions off the top of my head…. give me another cup of coffee and I could come up with many, many more issues with this idea.

    • First of all, ‘deny’ is not a category, it’s a temporary condition. About every other time I buy a gu n, I get denied or held, and need to come back in three days to pick it up. Once or twice NICS later gave the go-ahead, but usually the FFL will simply proceed with the sale three days later after not hearing back.

      I have no record of committing any crimes, I do NOT have a common last name, and I buy a gu n about every year or two – yet every other purchase gets flagged. Why? Just bought one a couple weeks ago, and the FFL told me the check was delayed, so I left the store. Got a call 10 minutes later saying it passed, so I went back and left with the pi stol. That’s the closest thing to an “instant” check I’ve had in my life!

  7. This from the same faction of our political spectrum that throws a hissy fit at things like the feds arresting illegal aliens when they show up for scheduled court hearings and such. The more of this idiocy goes on, the further libertarian I go.

  8. Bad public policy. The goal should be to make sure questionable people are weeded out. The background check does that. So a person unsure of a 30 year old conviction when they were 20 can find out through NICS. To do that, he must VOLUNTEER to go through the BC by filling out a BATF Form 4473. He comes up denied. The denial could be valid or not (appeal it). Either way he gets NO gun from that dealer that day.

    If asking is itself a crime, what does he do if unsure? He buys it for cash on the “street” that day and disappears WITH the gun into the population.

    Stupid law.

  9. For those who either think this is a good idea, or think “I cannot imagine someone not knowing that they are in the deny category,…”
    I suggest you check your photo ID regularly.
    I was at a gun show, tried to buy a shotgun from a dealer, and was denied because my driver’s license had expired the month before.
    This certainly doesn’t make me a “prohibited person,” not a person who needs to be on any list the state police would need to consult, nor does it in any way affect my rights to own and possess firearms, but it was a denial to purchase nonetheless. It wasn’t even a false denial; I couldn’t produce current ID. My fault.
    No law was broken. It wasn’t a false ID, there was no attempt to purchase under false information.
    But this law would put me on the list to be sent to the state police.
    This is a bad law, because it doesn’t seem to distinguish between criminal intent and non-criminal intent. Note, a mistake resulting in a denial is not a purchase, not even an attempt to purchase by a “prohibited person.” It’s like being stopped by a cop and having an out-of-date license. In many states, show a valid license within a certain time period, and the citation goes away. Same with insurance: Show a valid insurance card, and the citation goes away. (I’m from AZ, and this may not be your experience.)

  10. Was it not reported that over 90% of denials are overturned? Most of the denials are due to similar name, or false or inaccurate information.
    I know a guy that was denied because of a 30 year old incident in Texas but he had never been to Texas. And hundreds of people in the US have his same name.
    My wife was almost denied her permit but the PD actually took the time to ask my wife if she had ever lived in Raleigh and verify she was not the same person.

  11. “…The State Patrol would have to establish a new database for the denials ”

    And this new database gets paid for how? How many additional positions does the Government need to create to manage this new database? How long is the information kept? Who has access to the information? How does wrong information get corrected?

    My name isn’t common, but it is the same name as my Dad and my Grandfather. I already run into issues with credit checks failing because my information gets mixed in with my Dad’s information. I recently had a credit application fail because they thought I was scamming the system trying to use my Grandfather’s name, he’s been dead for close to ten years now. If my 4473 fails because of a similar error and I go ‘into the database’ how do I get that fixed?

    For the tl;dr explanation…. When the answer to any question is more information being given to or tracked by more government there is a problem and the person answering the question didn’t understand the question.

  12. How about including a mandatory provision that any NICS denials investigated and shown to be unwarranted require law enforcement to expedite a clean up of the erroneous NICS data within 30 days.

    Yeah, I know. Not going to happen.


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