My state representatives and senator all responded to my query through the auspices of FuseWA @FuseWA (see below) as to their stance on Universal Background Checks for gun buys in the state of Washington. I received e-mail response from each as shown below:
Feb 14, 2013
Dear Sen Nelson, Reps Cody and Fitzgibbon:,
I urge you to join parents, teachers, and families across Washington in supporting background checks for gun buys not between immediate family members in Washington.
A bipartisan group of legislators has introduced a bill to require background checks for all gun sales in Washington. Universal background checks are an important safeguard to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Nearly 40 percent of all gun purchases happen without a background check, making it all too easy for felons to buy deadly weapons.
There’s no single solution to stopping gun violence, but implementing a few common sense reforms like background checks for gun buyers might prevent the next tragedy.
Gun buys between immediate family members as defined by the final legislation may be exempted.
Please support legislation to require universal background checks for gun purchases.
>>>>> Response from Sen. Nelson:
Thank you for contacting me about the important issue of gun control. I agree with you. We must pass comprehensive gun control legislation to bring an end to senseless violence and death in America. Many ideas for gun legislation are being considered this session, including some similar to those you propose. I will be sure to forward your email to Senator Nick Harper, who is taking the lead on these issues for the Senate Democrats.
Sharon K. Nelson
State Senator, 34th Legislative District
>>>>> Response from Rep Cody:
Thank you for sharing your concerns about the escalating level of gun violence in this country. Your voice and insight are a valued part of the legislative process. I firmly believe in the government’s responsibility to keep our citizens safe and that includes protecting our people from the kinds of violent tragedies we’ve seen all too frequently in recent months.
In the coming weeks my colleagues and I will consider a number of gun control options, possibly banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, restricting firearms sales to those with a history of mental illness, and requiring background checks for gun show sales. I have signed on as a sponsor to HB 1588, which will require background checks for all gun sales, and will give it my full support when it comes before me. I have also co-sponsored HB 1703, which will encourage the use of gun locks and create a gun violence prevention educational program.
As Chair for the House Healthcare and Wellness Committee, I would like to see our state take a public health approach to decreasing gun violence. We need to increase education on gun safety issues and encourage the use of gun locks and safes. Part of the solution is in providing better access for mental health. We need to take a hard look at how we’ve been forced to slash our social safety net in recent years and how that contributes to violence in our communities. This legislative session I am committed to maintaining funding for our state’s mental health services.
I pledge to consider all viable options, to maximize our existing resources, and to make the most informed and responsible decisions that best reflect the needs of our community and our state. Thank you again for contacting me regarding this critical issue. I will surely consider your request in my decision-making process.
Eileen Cody, R.N.
>>>>> Response from Rep. Fitzgibbon:
Thank you for writing about universal background checks for gun sales in our state. I am a co-sponsor of HB 1588 which would expand background check requirements to all gun sales, not just those that take place at gun dealerships. I agree with you that it should make no difference whether an individual buys a gun at a gun store or a gun show – they should undergo a background check either way.
Recent polling suggests that 80% of Americans support background checks for all gun sales. Requiring the relatively simple process of getting a background check is a good step towards keeping guns out of the wrong hands.
Several amendments were made to this bill in the Judiciary Committee that will improve its functioning and protect the privacy of gun buyers. I look forward to voting for HB 1588 when it comes to the House floor.
Thanks again for contacting me and please feel free to keep in touch with your questions or concerns.
34th Legislative District