Bill would register gun violators, similar to sex offenders

Bill would register gun violators, similar to sex offenders

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Bill would register gun violators, similar to sex offenders

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by JAKE WHITTENBERG / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jakewhittenberg

KING5.com

Posted on January 31, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 1 at 11:33 AM

Will treating gun violators as sex offenders reduce gun violence?

Washington state Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, is introducing a bill that would take a similar stance.

The bill would require felony gun violators to register into a statewide database twice per year and allow police to check on unregistered violators.

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“One thing we are not addressing is going after the offender. That’s what this bill does,” Hope said.

Hope, who is also a Seattle Police officer, said reducing felons from committing repeat offenses would make a serious dent in gun violence. Also, he says it would be a tool for law enforcement to more easily perform background checks on the street.

The bill is getting bipartisan support.

“We have the opportunity to be the first state in the country to pass this legislation,” Hope said. “It’s worked in Baltimore. It’s worked in New York City and it’s worked in Washington. D.C.”

Eight house bills have been introduced relating to gun violence in Washington state. Most recently, House Bill 1588, which would require background checks on all gun sales with no exceptions.

Editor's Note:  Our initial story indicated police would be able to make "random house checks" on gun violators. To clarify, police would be able to check in on violators who failed to register, not perform random house checks or searches.

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