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I need help understanding gun registration in WA state.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by ShooterMcGavin, Dec 21, 2008.

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  1. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Member

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    This has been unclear to me forever and it seems that most gun store employees only speculate the answers they give me. This is what I understand to be true...

    1. Gun registration is not required or necessary, as an action taken by the gun owner, in WA state.
    2. A gun sold from an FFL, which requires all the necessary NICS paperwork, is automatically "registered".
    I may be wrong, but I have always assumed that the term "registered" means that the buyer's info and the gun's info is kept on a list held by the state gov't.

    Because of point number 2 above, I avoid buying many of the guns I want through an FFL. That means that I avoid buying most of the guns that I really want, because finding what I want from an individual seller is often very tough. Just recently, I was told by a salesman at a gun shop that the registration information for the gun is "required" to be destroyed after 7 days and that it is only for processing the background check. I have not been able to confirm that this is true. If that is true, I feel somewhat liberated to buy what I want :)

    Can anyone tell me what is the truth about gun registration in WA state, or lead me to the place to find that information?

    Many thanks!
     
  2. deadin

    deadin Member

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    When buying a gun from a dealer you have to fill out a Form 4473. This form is held by the shop and doesn't go anywhere. You are also entered into their "Bound Book" which also doesn't go anywhere unless the shop goes out of business. If going out of business and surrendering their license, the Bound Book is sent back to the BATFE for archiving. AFAIK this information is not entered into any database.
    If you want to consider this as "registration". so be it. You will have to buy all of your guns from private parties (and then, you will need to find sellers that don't want to keep track of where their "registered" guns go.) I know when I sell a gun, I want a name that I can pass on if the ATF comes knocking at my door.
    Washington State has no form of "registration" that I know of.
     
  3. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Member

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    Myunderstanding isthat the specific gun information is not called into NICS. Only the fact that YOU purchased a gun is called in.

    While NICS is supposed to destroy the information after a short time, the FFL must keep his copy of the 4473 for 20 years. That information is available to BATFE and other law enforcement only upon a search.

    There is no registration requirement in WA State.

    Pops
     
  4. scrofcheck

    scrofcheck Member

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    Well I used to be a FFL dealer in Wa, that is til I moved to Idaho. The info
    mentioned above is correct except in Wa state the FFL dealer must submit a blue form to Olympia. On this blue form is all the buyers info, the type of gun , serial #'s , where he bought it, etc. Everything is on this form and it stays in Olympia forever. When the WSP does a background check on an indiv. they access this info by computer. I had a close friend who got pulled over while he was carrying. Seems the handgun was given to him by his sister, so the WSP took it. He got it back once his sister filled out the proper forms. So yes if you buy a handgun in Wa. it stays on file in Olympia til hell freezes over. That's why I now reside in Idaho. Good luck
     
  5. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    What I thought I understood about WA law was:

    If you buy a rifle, it is not registered with anybody.

    But if you buy a handgun, the WSP does have a record of it. I have no handguns left from WA state since I moved, partly for that reason.

    jm
     
  6. scrofcheck

    scrofcheck Member

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    Grimjaw You are correct only handguns are registered with the state not rifles. Not yet
     
  7. Art SC

    Art SC Member

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    "Registration?" What the...?!!

    Sorry, I live in a free state. :neener:

    Just kidding ya. I hope you find out what you need to know soon, though!
     
  8. Dr. Fresh

    Dr. Fresh Member

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    Sorry Grimjaw, but that's incorrect. Washington has NO registration.
     
  9. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Member

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    scrofcheck, thank you very much for chiming in with your knowledge.

    So, basically, my "fears" of registration are founded, but only for handguns, correct? I feel much better knowing what the law is, and hearing that rifles are not registered as are handguns. It seems that this is really well hidden information!

    Now, what about a pistol caliber carbine? Is that classified as a rifle, as far as the registration is concerned?? I ask because I want to buy one.

    Art SC, yes, I know exactly what you mean!!! :)

    scrofcheck, I am shocked to hear that they will actually take a gun that is not properly registered to you! I'm guessing the sister had to fill out the paper work to transfer the gun to her brother's name for the registration? That makes me angry!
     
  10. Dr. Fresh

    Dr. Fresh Member

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    There is absolutely NO gun registration in Washington state. Federal law applies just like everywhere else, so you have to fill out a 4473 and all that and there's a 5-day waiting period on handguns if you don't have your CPL.

    But beyond that there is NO registration. I should know, I live there.
     
  11. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Member

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    Close. There is no REQUIRED registration in Washington. There is a voluntary system of registration which is used by very few gun owners.
     
  12. Dr. Fresh

    Dr. Fresh Member

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    I know plenty of gun owners in this state and I've never heard of such a thing.
     
  13. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    Dr. Fresh, I lived there, too, as recently as January 2008.

    I did not say that handguns were registered. I said the WSP kept a record of the purchase from the dealer (FFL). There is no requirement (so far as I know) to record or report purchases of handguns between private parties.

    It is my opinion that this constitutes a form of registration, although it is hardly effective as the chain can be broken at any time by a sale between private parties at one of the Washington Arms Collectors shows, etc. It's about as effective as WA state's 5-day waiting period for handguns (which doesn't necessarily apply to CPL holders...)

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.41.110, section 9.

    Now, the WA state application to purchase a handgun, while sent to the chief of police, is supposed to be destroyed by them. From what I read the application is considered a separate document from the record of purchase, but IANAL.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9.41.090

    Below links to a more extensive WA .gov page dealing with firearms regulation within the state.

    http://tinyurl.com/8mbj3y

    jm
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  14. MD_Willington

    MD_Willington Member

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  15. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    MD, but is that mandatory or voluntary? I didn't look it up.

    EDIT: Duh, sorry, I should have read the form. It says "voluntary" at top in bold print. ;)

    jm
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  16. scrofcheck

    scrofcheck Member

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    Dr. Fresh If you live in Wa and you bought a handgun do you remember that blue form you signed and initialed ? Yes you also signed the 4473 but the blue form has 3 copies. 1 copy the FFl keeps , the other goes to the chief of police in the county you reside in and the 3 rd goes to Olympia. It may not be called gun registration but everyone has a record of your purchase. It's the LAW.

    And yes the sister filled out some state transfer forms to say she gave the gun to her brother. Gun was then returned to him.
     
  17. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Member

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    How about a pistol caliber carbine? Is that classified as a rifle, as far as registration is concerned?? (Or even otherwise?)

    scrofcheck, just so I'm clear, rifles bought from an FFL are not registered, right? I keep asking only because I am shocked and relieved.
     
  18. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    rifles bought from an FFL are not registered, right?

    A rifle is a rifle, even if it's in a pistol caliber. The purchase is only going to be recorded if they also had to do the handgun form. I bought two PC9s (9mm carbines) while I was in WA, and neither required the triplicate form or 5-day wait.

    jm
     
  19. ShooterMcGavin

    ShooterMcGavin Member

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    Sorry if this is a "dense" question, but isn't a carbine considered neither a rifle nor a pistol?

    Maybe the only way to know if they will need to fill out the handgun form (especially with a carbine) is to ask them before starting the process? I wish there were just a simple answer, so I didn't have to remember to get that question out there any time I buy a non-handgun.

    I appreciate all the help.
     
  20. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

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    Scrofcheck,

    i've purchased a few new pistols at dealers in WA and have never had to fill out any other form aside from the 4473. there was no mysterious "blue form" and there was certainly no application to purchase a handgun. just the 4473, a phone call, show my CPL and pay, and out the door i went. i've witnessed many a pistol sale in the stores/ranges and still no blue form for handguns.

    i'd like to hear a first hand account from someone who had to fill out this blue form.

    Bobby
     
  21. Dr. Fresh

    Dr. Fresh Member

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    x2 it's been a while but I cannot remember filling out any kind of special form.
     
  22. grimjaw

    grimjaw Member

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    Bobarino, you might have circumvented the form by virtue of your CPL. I'm not certain. But there is a form that dealers are supposed to have you fill out with the information specified in the links I provided. I had to fill out that form in addition to the 4473 at Sportman's Warehouse in Kennewick numerous times. I don't remember if I was able to avoid filling it out once I got my CPL.

    Guys, I'm not making any of this up. Read the links on the WA .gov sites if you don't believe me. Better yet, write or call the WA DoL and get it straight from the horse's mouth.

    jm
     
  23. bonza

    bonza Member

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    I remember using the 'Blue Form' when I worked at Warshal's in Seattle back in the '90s. Haven't bought a handgun from an FFL for years, so don't know if they are used on all handgun purchases (with or without CPL).
     
  24. scrofcheck

    scrofcheck Member

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    As Grimjaw stated write or call the WA DoL and get it straight from the horse's mouth.
     
  25. expvideo

    expvideo Member

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    That's not registration. If I remember correctly, the NICS office is required to discard any information about the transaction as soon as the call is over. The 4473 is kept on file at the FFL, but that is for the FFLs records, not registration. There is absolutely 0 registration in WA state. You couldn't voluntarily register a gun, because there is no place that stores that information.
     
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