SPOKANE, Wash. — Police departments in Washington are now responsible for running enhanced background checks on gun purchases.
The manager of Sharp Shooting told KREM 2, to their surprise, the Spokane Police department is completing enhanced background checks faster than the newly required 10 day waiting period.
Initiative 1639 requires this waiting period for pistol and semi-automatic rifle purchases. All provisions of the law have been in effect for about six weeks. Spokane Police Officer John O'Brien said so far, its records department is keeping up with background checks, despite the increase in workflow.
"Our background personnel are working very hard to keep up with all the requests that are coming through. And so far, the process seems to be moving along pretty well," O’Brien said.
Part of that process includes a mental health check, a new state requirement. Which means, while the police department runs a criminal history check, it will also reach out to the state health department for a mental health evaluation check. Even so, the department is currently able to complete these background checks within five to ten days.
Gun retailers said July and August are the two slowest months in the firearm industry. It starts to pick back up in the winter months, closer to hunting season. O'Brien said the department does not anticipate a drastic increase of enhanced backgrounds checks by then.