House approves Rep. Dave Hayes’ bill to tighten state’s firearm offender registry law

The Washington State House of Representatives approved a measure Monday that would require people convicted of certain gun offenses to register as firearm offenders. The vote was 94-3.
Rep. Dave Hayes, R-Camano Island, is the prime sponsor of House Bill 2410. He said the measure expands on legislation signed into law in 2013 that created a central firearm offender registry, but gave judges discretion of whether convicted felony firearm offenders would have to register.

“What we found since then, there’s been more than 1,200 convictions that would have been required to have registered as firearm offenders. But only 86 of those have been required by the judges,” said Hayes.

Hayes is a sergeant with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. He said the measure is meant to help local law enforcement officers combat gun violence by going after repeat felony firearm offenders.

“I wanted to focus in this bill on violent felony firearm offenders — people who would use a gun against another human being in a violent crime, a sex crime, and a crime against a child. This measure rightfully focuses on those people who would turn guns against another person,” added Hayes, who serves as assistant ranking Republican on the House Public Safety Committee.

Hayes’ measure would require any person convicted of a felony firearm offense that was committed in conjunction with a crime involving sexual motivation, a crime against a child, or a serious violent offense to register in the felony firearm offense conviction database.

“It’s going to require the judges in those particular cases to mandate that the firearm offenders register with the Washington State Patrol. Judges would still have discretion to have offenders register for firearm crimes outside of the specified list of crimes,” said Hayes.

The measure now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

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