Denied Firearms Transactions

During the 2017 Regular Session, the Washington State Legislature enacted SHB 1501, effective July 23, 2017. The legislation established several requirements, some of which have been repealed with the implementation of the Secure Automated Firearms e-Check (SAFE) system within the Firearms Background Division at the Washington State Patrol. WASPC maintains responsibility for the denied firearms transaction grant program; submission of annual reports; and administration of the statewide protected person notification system. Each of these functions is outlined below. 

Historical Information: 
WASPC started collecting denied firearms transaction information from Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs) on July 25, 2017. Once using the SAFE system, FFLs are no longer required to report denied firearms transactions to WASPC. WASPC receives denial information from the Washington State Patrol. FFLs requiring historical information for audit purposes can request information via [email protected].  

Denied Firearms Transaction Grant Program: 
The Washington State Patrol provides notifications to law enforcement when a denied transaction occurs. These notifications include reason for denial, FFL location and additional information.

WASPC sends a weekly report to local law enforcement agencies where denied transactions occur. The purpose of this email is to remind agencies of the availability of grant funds to support investigations. 

  • Statute does not require law enforcement to investigate these attempted transactions. However, RCW 36.28A.420 does provide funding for grants to support investigations. Each year, when funded, WASPC will distribute grant funds allocated to support investigation of these transactions. For the State Fiscal Year beginning July 1, 2024 and ending June 30, 2025, $150,000 in grant funds are available to support the investigation of denied firearms transactions. These grants will reimburse agencies $300 per transaction investigated. In recognition that investigations leading to a referral to prosecution generally require more time and resources, agencies will receive an additional $200 for applications that indicate a referral for charges has been made. Funds are state pass-through funds, through the Washington Criminal Justice Training Commission. Grants will be available on a first come, first serve basis. We encourage agencies to investigate denied transactions following local agency practice. To apply for grant funds, please login to the Denied Firearms Transaction system and follow the grant application prompts. 
  • For those agencies that choose to investigate these denied firearms transactions, the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys has recommended the potential crime/charge under RCW 9.41.113(3)(c) (which requires the purchaser to fill out the federal forms). The penalty is found in RCW 9.41.115 (which makes it a gross misdemeanor to 'knowingly' violate). A gross misdemeanor first time; class C felony for second conviction - particularly with cases of repeated attempts to purchase which likely give us proof of 'knowingly'. Other options could include attempted unlawful possession of a firearm (RCW 9.41.040); forgery (RCW 9A.60.020); or false swearing (RCW 9A.72.040). Keep in mind: Law enforcement does need to provide identity proof and proof of knowing violation.
  • Please click here to create an account to access the Denied Firearms Transaction system and to apply for grant funding. Access to the system is reserved for criminal justice purposes only. Approved users, please click here to access the system. 
  • Free on-demand training highlighting the Denied Firearms Transaction Grant Program is available here. You will create an account and request enrollment in the Denied Firearms Transaction System Course. Enrollment requests will be addressed within 2 business days. 

Statewide Protected Persons Notification System:
RCW 36.28A.410 requires WASPC to create and operate a statewide automated protected person notification system to automatically notify a registered person via the registered person's choice of telephone or email when a respondent subject to a court order has attempted to purchase or acquire a firearm and been denied based on a background check or completed and submitted firearm purchase or transfer application that indicates the respondent is ineligible to possess a firearm under state or federal law. The Washington Protective Order Notification system is available at Service, expiration and denied firearms transaction notifications are automatically sent to registered persons regarding protective orders. 

Annual Reports:
Per RCW 36.28A.405, WASPC is required to prepare an annual report on the status of WASPC responsibilities related to the denied firearms transaction program.

For additional information on the Denied Firearms Transaction Program, please contact the WASPC Projects and Programs Department at (360) 486-2414 or [email protected].