In this 2017 photo, a sales clerk hands a pistol, being sold on behalf of the Aberdeen Police Department, to a customer to look at before an auction at Johnny’s Auction House, where the company handles gun sales for police departments and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, in Rochester, Washington. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

In this 2017 photo, a sales clerk hands a pistol, being sold on behalf of the Aberdeen Police Department, to a customer to look at before an auction at Johnny’s Auction House, where the company handles gun sales for police departments and the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, in Rochester, Washington. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

House passes bill to let State Patrol destroy crime guns

Several Republican lawmakers said the guns should be sold instead.

  • By MARTHA BELLISLE Associated Press
  • Thursday, January 23, 2020 1:33pm
  • Northwest

By Martha Bellisle / Associated Press

SEATTLE — After years of trying, the Washington state House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that allows the State Patrol to destroy guns they confiscated during criminal investigations.

The measure gives the State Patrol the option available to all other law enforcement agencies in the state — to keep, trade, auction or destroy forfeited crime guns.

Passage by the chamber of House Bill 1010, a holdover from the last session, followed a year-long investigation by The Associated Press that found that more than a dozen weapons sold by state law enforcement agencies turned up in new criminal cases.

One gun sold by the Washington State Patrol was used by an Army veteran to kill himself, the AP found. The bullet went through a wall and narrowly missed his neighbor’s head as she bent down to pull her baby boy out of the bathtub.

The forfeited gun measure, which now goes to the Senate, was one of several gun-control bills that moved forward Thursday.

Passing the measure one day after a shooting in downtown Seattle left one person dead and seven injured “will remind the community that we are taking action against gun violence,” said Rep. Tana Senn, D-Mercer Island, the bill’s main sponsor.

Several Republican House members spoke against the bill, saying the guns should be sold and the revenues used to buy equipment or to fund the crime lab, but Senn and others successfully argued that it was too risky to put crime guns back on the streets where they could be used against the community or law enforcement officers.

“This is no-brainer sensible gun policy,” Senn said, adding that it had a good chance of also passing the Senate.

Also Thursday, the Senate Law and Justice Committee approved a bill that limits the size of firearm magazines to 10 bullets in order to avoid mass carnage that has been seen during recent mass shootings across the country. It now goes to the full Senate.

When suspects use high-capacity magazines, “it takes seconds to mow down lots and lots of people,” said Sen. Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue, one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 6077. “We have a gun violence epidemic. I think this bill is going to save lives and I don’t think it’s going to put people in danger.”

Kurder’s comment was in response to concerns raised by several Republican members of the Law and Justice committee, who said the bill would make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves.

Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, recalled testimony this week by women who used a gun to defend themselves.

“They indicated the gun is an equalizer,” she said. If a woman faces more than one attacker, and is only able to fire 10 bullets at a time, it could put her life at risk, she said.

“It’s not up to us to tell a gun owner how many bullets are needed to put down a threat,” she said.

People who own larger magazines at the time of the bill’s final passage will be grandfathered in, but once the bill is in effect, the owners can not sell the magazines to anyone but a licensed gun dealer.

The committee also approved SB6294, which requires gun safety training for people who apply for a concealed carry permit.

Sen. Jesse Salomon, D-Shoreline, said the bill was not an attempt to limit gun ownership, but instead designed to limit the possibility of accidental gun deaths.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of King County.
2 workers killed after trench collapses in Shoreline

The slope was too unstable to recover their bodies Monday so efforts will resume Tuesday.

The Supreme Court in Washington D.C. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Supreme Court limits EPA in curbing power plant emissions

This impacts how the nation’s main anti-air pollution law can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Washington state.
Washington state license plates prices increase July 1

The price of a new plate will rise from $10 to $50, and replacing a lost plate will increase from $10 to $30.

Hundreds gather to listen to a lineup of guest speakers during Snohomish County’s “Bans Off Our Bodies” rally Saturday, May 14, 2022, outside the county courthouse in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion

The decision is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

FILE - In this photo provided by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, a crane and boats are anchored next to a collapsed "net pen" used by Cooke Aquaculture Pacific to farm Atlantic Salmon near Cypress Island in Washington state on Aug. 28, 2017, after a failure of the nets allowed tens of thousands of the nonnative fish to escape. A Washington state jury on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, awarded the Lummi Indian tribe $595,000 over the 2017 collapse of the net pen where Atlantic salmon were being raised, an event that elicited fears of damage to wild salmon runs and prompted the Legislature to ban the farming of the nonnative fish. (David Bergvall/Washington State Department of Natural Resources via AP, File)
Jury awards $595,000 to Lummi tribe for salmon pen collapse

The tribe sued, saying the pen owner had not reimbursed the tribal government for its clean up effort.

FILE - Alaska Airlines planes are parked at gates with Mount Rainier in the background at sunrise, on March 1, 2021, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle. A union has reached a deal Wednesday, June 22, 2022, with Seattle-based Alaska Airlines for a two-year contract extension that provides substantial raises for 5,300 gate agents, stores personnel and office staff, as well as for ramp workers who load cargo. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Alaska Airlines reaches contract deal with some workers

Raises for gate agents, stores personnel, office staff, as well as ramp workers who load cargo.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Seattle.
Seattle facing $117 million revenue shortfall in 2023

The city’s budget chief says there’s no easy way to bridge the gap.

A view from the lower undeveloped part of the Flowery Trail neighborhood looking at spots where slash piles have been burned - outside Chewelah, Wash. (Erick Doxey / InvestigateWest)
Growing sprawl in state’s woods comes with high wildfire risk

Policymakers and homeowners are scrambling to manage the so-called “wildland-urban interface” to mitigate the threat.

The kids thought it was milk. It was actually floor sealant

In Juneau, containers of the chemical were stacked on the same pallet as boxes containing pouches of milk.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of Seattle.
Initiative to change Seattle elections heads toward ballot

The initiative would alter the way Seattle elects mayors, city attorneys and City Council members.

Lynnwood climber supports first all-Black Mount Everest summit bid

Fred Campbell was part of the historic expedition, but got sick and had to turn back before the submit.