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Universal Background Checks Already Failing in Washington State

Gun buyers may not be following background check law

According to KING5 News, Washington State's Universal Background Check law, called I-594 and adopted by voters in 2014, is being widely ignored by Washington gun owners:

"Analysis of federal data by the KING 5 Investigators raises questions about how effective that law has been.

Only 2% of background checks in Washington in 2015 stemmed from "private party" sales of guns, according to data in the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check – or NICS – system.

That number is surprising to researchers Philip Cook of Duke and Jens Ludwig of the University of Chicago, who study gun violence.

They say that their own research – and studies by others – have shown that up to 40% of gun sales nationwide are between private citizens. They're skeptical that the 2% reported to the FBI is an accurate picture of the private gun market in Washington state.

"I suspect…there are a lot of unreported private-market sales going on," Ludwig said in an email to KING 5.

In other words, the data could indicate that many gun sellers and buyers are evading the law."

Washingtonians have had a taste of Universal Background Checks, and regret their decision.  They are now ignoring the law.  Maine should learn from Washington's experience, and decline to enact a law which will accomplish nothing but turning Mainers into criminals.

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"I ran the UBC proposal by an Assistant District Attorney. His response: 'Such a mess!"  He agrees that simply loaning a friend a rifle for deer season without getting a background check would be illegal for both parties involved. That's coming from one of the guys that would prosecute under the proposed law."

-- Central Maine Police Officer

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