SHB 1501—An act relating to protecting law enforcement and the public from persons who illegally attempt to obtain firearms

During the 2017 Regular Session, the Washington State Legislature enacted SHB 1501, effective July 23, 2017.

SHB 1501 places several requirements on Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs). One of those requirements is that FFLs report to WASPC on each instance where the dealer denies an application for the purchase or transfer of a firearm, whether under RCW 9.41.090 or 9.41.113, or the requirements of federal law, as the result of a background check or completed and submitted firearm purchase or transfer application that indicates the applicant is ineligible to possess a firearm under state or federal law. FFLs are also required to report each instance where the purchase or transfer was initially denied but subsequently approved.

WASPC started collecting this information from Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) on July 25, 2017. By early December, we received more than 1,000 transactions from FFLs across the state. FFLs report this information to WASPC at www.wafirearmreport.org.

WASPC prepares a weekly report of denied transactions that is made available to law enforcement agencies on an “opt-in” basis. To opt-in to these notifications, please contact Steven Briggs, NCA at sbriggs@waspc.org or by phone at (360) 486-2389. In addition to the weekly report of denied transactions, WASPC also refers the following reports directly to local law enforcement, regardless of opt-in status:

  • Multiple Denied Attempts
  • Subsequent Denial—Firearm NOT Returned at Time of Report
  • Purchaser is the Respondent in an Active Washington State Protective Order
  • Purchaser has a Felony Conviction in Washington State
  • Upon FFL Suspicion/Request

SHB 1501 does not require law enforcement to investigate these attempts. However, the legislature did provide funding for grants to support investigations. Effective December 5, 2017, WASPC is distributing the $150,000 in grant funds allocated to support investigation of these transactions. These grants will cover the actual cost of investigation, up to a $500 maximum per transaction investigated. To receive grant funding, agencies must complete a two page application. The application can be found at https://waspc.formstack.com/forms/1501_grant_application