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Washington Senate approves severe punishment for gun dealers

Washington Senate approves severe punishment for gun dealers

A bill mandating that gun dealers in Washington state adhere to updated safety and security protocols progressed farther towards enactment.

The state Senate approved a modified version of Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2118 on Tuesday. Due to the alterations in the Senate, the bill needs to go back to the House of Representatives for a decision on whether to accept the revisions.

ESHB 2118 mandates gun dealers to conduct yearly background checks on staff, maintain $1 million in liability insurance, implement steel doors or bars at the premises, and adhere to stricter regulations for storage and security systems equipped with audio and video surveillance.

The bill approved by the House requires federal weapons licensed dealers to keep 730 days of security video. The Senate accepted amendments on Tuesday reducing the retention period to 90 days and mandating the preservation of recordings in all other necessary areas for 45 days.

Rep. Amy Walen, D-Kirkland, emphasized the need of ensuring the safety of firearms and their inventory during a public hearing before the Senate Law & Justice Committee on Feb. 19. “It’s about promptly reporting incidents.” It concerns law enforcement’s capability to monitor straw purchases.

She stated that she believed the majority of the content on the platform had likely already been completed by many gun sellers.

Cheryl Stumbo, a victim of a shooting, gave testimony in support of the measure over a distant connection.

She sustained a gunshot wound to the stomach during an incident where Naveed Afzal Haq shot six women, resulting in one fatality, at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building on July 28, 2006. She underwent 20 surgeries over a three-year span.

Troy Nichols, representing the National Shooting Sports Foundation, stated that the law addresses a non-existent issue.

“The purpose of House Bill 2118 is to deter firearm thefts and straw purchases at dealerships,” he said the committee. “Federal and state data show that less than 2 percent of firearm thefts in Washington state happen at FFLs.”

Nichols stated that the primary issue of the firearm business is the high cost of storing video footage as mandated by the bill.

When fully implemented, conservative estimates indicate that each FFL would incur costs exceeding $197,000 per year to digitally store two years’ worth of video footage, even when planning for the lowest number of required cameras, as stated in the House version of the Act.

Senator Lynda Wilson, a Republican from Vancouver, argues that if the bill is approved, it will be detrimental to dealers.

“The bill aims to target the supply side of firearms as anti-gun extremists have come to understand that they cannot confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens or regulate them out of existence,” Wilson stated in a news release on Wednesday. “It would essentially overwhelm the retailers who cannot meet the new requirements, which includes most, if not all, in our state.” I fail to see how gun shows will be able to endure this situation.

Workman stated that if the proposal is approved, it will likely face legal challenges due to the severe consequences it would have on the firearms community and small businesses. The Times acknowledged that the plan elevates gun control measures to a point where legitimate firms may face punitive consequences.

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