A Project Child Safe gun lock that is available at the Everett Police Department on Thursday, March 12, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A Project Child Safe gun lock that is available at the Everett Police Department on Thursday, March 12, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Bill moves forward requiring safety course to buy a gun in Washington

A bill passed by the state House adds that requirement and imposes a 10-day waiting period. It now goes to the Senate.

OLYMPIA — Potential gun buyers would face new restrictions and a longer waiting period under a bill passed by a sharply divided state House late Tuesday night.

House Bill 1143 would require a person provide proof they completed a “recognized firearms safety training program” within the past five years before they could make a purchase. These programs must include discussion of subjects such as safe handling and secure storage of guns. Law enforcement officers and active-duty military members are exempt from having to complete the training.

A person also must undergo a background check conducted by the Washington State Patrol. And the bill imposes a 10-day waiting period to obtain a gun. The clock would start on the day a background check is requested.

Majority Democrats pushed it through on a 52-44 vote. No Republicans supported it.

Some provisions in the original bill did get removed prior to the final vote. One was a requirement for a person to get a permit from the state patrol to buy a gun. Another removed live-fire training as a required component of a safety program.

This is one of several bills Democratic lawmakers are pushing this session to curb incidents of gun violence which have climbed in recent years.

A ban on the manufacture and sale of assault weapons — defined broadly as semiautomatic pistols and semiautomatic rifles with detachable ammunition magazines — was in line for a possible House vote late Wednesday. If voted on and passed, it would be the first time either chamber of the Legislature had taken action to outlaw sale of such firearms.

Senate Bill 5078, enabling legal action against gun makers and retailers, cleared the Senate on a 28-21 vote last week.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dospueblos.

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