Washington Will Now Alert Survivors When Domestic Abusers Try to Buy a Gun
Washington just took a big step to protect survivors of domestic violence.
According to The Trace, Washington will be the first state to enact a law that requires law enforcement to alert victims when their abusers attempt to buy a gun. The bill was signed by Washington Governor Jay Inslee in May and will take effect on July 23.
In the U.S. it’s currently illegal for anyone who’s been convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence or is under a protective order for domestic abuse to purchase or possess a firearm. Washington’s new legislation will create a grant program that would help authorities conduct investigations into failed attempts to purchase firearms or when someone tries to buy a gun but fails the background check. These failed attempts are also known as “lie and try” attempts.
The new law only applies to victims whose abusers were convicted in court or have obtained a court-ordered restraining order. The victim’s order will be registered to a “computer-based criminal intelligence information system available in Washington, used by law enforcement agencies to list outstanding warrants,” according to the bill