By Jerry Cornfield
The House today overwhelmingly approved a bill establishing a new statewide registry of people convicted of offenses involving firearms.
Under House Bill 1612, judges will decide which offenders must register based on such factors as the person’s criminal history; whether the person has been previously found not guilty by reason of insanity in any state, and any evidence of the person’s propensity for violence that would likely endanger others.
The Washington State Patrol will maintain the registry and only law enforcement agencies will have access to it.
It is “one of the best bills we have here as far as gun violence is concerned,” said Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, the bill’s prime sponsor and a Seattle police officer.
“Without a doubt it is going to reduce the amount of homicides in our state,” he said.
The bill passed 85-10 and now goes to the state Senate for consideration.