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Democrat Governor Signs Bill Requiring Gun Owners Report Theft Within 24 Hours Or Pay Fine

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, signed legislation that requires gun owners report theft of firearms within 24 hours or be fined up to $1,000.

“The new law will require Washington gun owners to notify the police of a stolen firearm within 24 hours of when they discover the theft or loss – or face a $1,000 fine,” KATU News noted.

Several gun rights organizations criticized the bill, saying it unfairly targets law-abiding gun owners.

“We’re talking about somebody who has already suffered a crime, a felony crime, and now he’s facing a potential fine,” Dave Workman of the Second Amendment Foundation said.

WATCH:

KOMO News reports:

Washington Governor Jay Inslee officially signed a bill into law Tuesday that will require gun owners to notify the police of a stolen firearm within 24 hours of when they discover the theft or loss.

As part of HB 1903, gun owners who fail to report stolen firearms within a 24 hour period would face up to a $1,000 civil infraction fine. It would also require law enforcement agencies to register stolen firearm reports with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, which is used by police to pursue suspects and locate stolen items.

Up until the bill’s signing, the deadline to report a lost or stolen firearm has been five days. Proponents of the law, such as the gun control group Moms Demand Action along with King County Public Health, testified that it frustrates the ability of law enforcement to protect the community when firearms are not reported as stolen in an adequate amount of time.

“This bill would enable law enforcement to track and recover stolen firearms faster before they resurface in incidents traumatizing our families and communities,” said Karyn Brownson, King County Public Health.

Prior to the bill’s signing, several gun rights organizations, such as the National Rifle Association and the Washington Civil Rights Association, spoke out against the measure saying the law would unfairly target people who are already victims of a crime.

“An owner or person lawfully in possession of a firearm who suffers the loss or theft of the firearm must report the loss or theft to the local law enforcement agency where the loss or theft occurred within 24 hours after the person first discovered the loss or theft. There is an exception to the 24-hour reporting requirement for good cause shown,” HB 1903 reads.

The report must include, to the extent known:

  • the firearm’s caliber, make, model, manufacturer, and serial number;
  • any other distinguishing number or identification mark on the firearm; and
  • the circumstances of the loss or theft, including the date, place, and manner.

“A law enforcement agency that receives a report of a lost or stolen firearm must enter the firearm’s caliber, make, model, manufacturer, and serial number and any other distinguishing number or identification mark on the firearm, to the extent known, into the National Crime Information Center database. Any person who fails to report a lost or stolen firearm commits a civil infraction and is subject to a monetary penalty of up to $1,000,” the bill continues.

Gov. Inslee signed multiple pieces of legislation, including HB 1903, that places restrictions on firearms.

From The Seattle Times:

Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law several bills on Tuesday, adding to Washington’s growing heap of gun restrictions.

At a brief signing ceremony with supporters at the state Capitol, Inslee approved legislation imposing new safety and reporting requirements for gun dealers and owners, as well as law enforcement agencies.

Among the measures signed:

  • House Bill 2118, which requires gun dealers to run annual background checks on employees and maintain alarm systems and 24-hour video surveillance and other security measures. Dealers also must respond quickly to law enforcement queries and carry general liability insurance covering $1 million per incident.
  • House Bill 1903 requires gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to law enforcement within 24 hours of when they discover the theft or loss — compared with a current deadline of five days.
  • Senate Bill 5444 prohibits people from carrying firearms in public libraries, zoos, aquariums and transit facilities, unless they have concealed-carry permits.
  • House Bill 2021 allows the Washington State Patrol to destroy firearms it has confiscated and requires police and sheriff’s offices to destroy most guns obtained through gun-buyback programs.

Inslee also signed a bill clarifying that people declared incompetent to stand trial on felony criminal charges cannot possess guns, and a bill clarifying that the State Patrol is responsible for all background checks of gun buyers.

The package signed by Inslee on Tuesday builds on last year’s major swath of gun laws passed by the Democratic majority Legislature, including a ban on AR-15s and dozens of other semi-automatic rifles and a 10-day waiting period for firearm purchases.

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