Bill to expand background checks for gun sales fail in House

Mar 12, 2013

A proposal to expand background checks on Washington state gun sales has failed in the state House.

Democratic Rep. Jamie Pedersen of Seattle said Tuesday night he was unable to corral the 50 votes necessary to pass the bill through the chamber. Pedersen says he was disappointed by the result, coming even after he agreed to add a referendum clause to the bill.

Gun buyers currently must undergo a background check when they purchase a weapon from a federally licensed firearms dealer. Pedersen's proposal would have extended background checks to cover private gun transactions.

The National Rifle Association had been advocating in the state in recent weeks to block the bill, with opponents of the measure saying it wouldn't stop gun violence.