Denied Firearms Transactions

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.wafirearmsreport.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 [email protected] 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. Each year, WASPC will distribute $150,000 in grant funds allocated to support investigation of these transactions. These grants will reimburse agencies $500 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

SHB 1501 also required 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 www.registervpo.com. At this time, service and expiration notifications are automatically sent to registered persons regarding protective orders. WASPC is working with our vendor to add denied firearm transaction notifications. We expect the denied firearm transaction notifications to be implemented by June 30, 2018.

WASPC is required to prepare an annual report on the status of WASPC responsibilities related to SHB 1501. Please click here to view the 2017 report.

WASPC also provides a monthly snapshot of information on this program: 

  Jul
17
Aug
17

Sep
17

Oct
17
Nov
17
Dec
17
Jan
18
Feb
18
Mar
18
Apr
18
May
18

June
18

Denied Transactions
Submitted to WASPC
27 224 231 283 292 280 270 271 437 272 241 279
Subsequent Approvals
Reported to WASPC
0 2 8 11 10 7 15 5 8 12 8 7
Referrals to Local
Law Enforcement
1 13 34 37 36 69 74 67 102 68 52 82
Grant Funds Distributed
to Local Law Enforcement 
$0 $1,500 $1,000 $3,241.98 $4,900 $5,00 $7,000 $7,000 $7,000 $6,000 $7,500 $5,500