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Crime, Law and Justice
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

New Background Check Law Likely Stopped Prohibited Buyer At Washington Gun Show

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FIle photo. Washington's new background check law took effect on December 4.

Washington’s new voter-approved background check law appears to have prevented the sale of a rifle to a man with a warrant out for his arrest.

It could be the first time the new law was put to the test.

Paul Snider organized the Lewis Clark Trader Gun Show at the Spokane County Fair & Expo the first weekend in December. He said because Washington’s new background check law had taken effect a couple of days earlier, he recruited three federally-licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks for person-to-person sales.

On Saturday December 6, one of those checks came back with a denial.

“There was a person that tried to buy a firearm and he was refused only to find out later that the person there was a warrant out for his arrest,” Snider said.

Snider said he’s no fan of the new law. But added, “The law did work in this case.”

Snider said he hopes the man is arrested, but he still thinks the new background check law is an unnecessary burden on law abiding gun owners.