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Online Gun Exchange To Launch On Eve Of Washington Gun Hearings

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File photo. An online firearms marketplace opens for business in Washington on Monday.

Starting Monday, Washington gun owners will have a new place to sell their firearms. That’s when a website called Washington Gun Exchange plans to launch.

The arrival of this online marketplace comes as Washington lawmakers prepare to hold contentious hearings on dueling gun measures.

The Washington Gun Exchange will be an offshoot of a similar website in Utah. Founder Nick Moyes -- who lives in Utah -- says he picked Washington in part because he’s gotten to know some conservative lawmakers here.

But also because Michael Bloomberg’s group “Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns” has contributed to a ballot measure campaign for universal background checks in Washington.

“Absolutely," Moyes says. "The political statement is there as well.”

Moyes says the Gun Exchange is an online marketplace for in-state person-to-person gun sales. Other national websites like Armslist already exist, but Moyes sells his as more local in nature.

Oregon residents will also be able to post listings on the Washington site.

Moyes says he believes his website will bring together responsible gun owners and gun buyers, and won’t be a marketplace for criminal transactions. Still, he says, “We fully expect the ire of the gun control folks, but we’re okay. We can take those hits.”

Moyes says it’s coincidental that his launch comes the same week that gun control and gun rights will become front-and-center issues in the Washington legislature. Lawmakers plan to hold a pair of hearings on competing gun initiatives to the legislature – one would expand background checks, the other would limit them.

Democratic State Senator Jamie Pedersen says the launch of the Washington Gun Exchange “illustrates the need for universal background checks.”

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."