Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2023 ‘Maintaining Records of Gun Sales in Washington.’ Gun Sales. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2 February
Retention of Sales and Background Check Records in Washington
In Washington, licensed firearm dealers must keep a record of every handgun sold, in a book kept for that purpose. A form containing the date of sale, the caliber, make, model and manufacturer's number of the firearm, the name, address, occupation, and place of birth of the purchaser, and a statement of the purchaser stating that he or she is not ineligible under state law to possess a firearm must be signed by both the purchaser and the person effecting the sale, each in the presence of the other. One copy of the form must be sent within six hours by certified mail to the chief of police or sheriff of the jurisdiction in which the purchaser resides. An additional copy must be sent within seven days to the state director of licensing, while another copy must be retained by the dealer for six years.
The Washington Department of Licensing is authorized by law to keep copies or records of applications for concealed pistol licenses, copies or records of applications for alien firearm licenses, copies or records of applications to purchase handguns, and copies or records of handgun transfers.
Washington requires that every pawnbroker and second-hand dealer doing business in the state maintain a record of the following, at the time of each transaction:
- The signature of the person with whom the transaction is made;
- The date of the transaction;
- The name of the person or employee or the identification number of the person or employee conducting the transaction, as required by the applicable chief of police or the county's chief law enforcement officer;
- The name, date of birth, gender, height, weight, race, address and telephone number of the person with whom the transaction is made;
- In the case of firearms, a complete description including the brand name, serial number, model number or name, the caliber, barrel length, type of action, and whether it is a handgun, rifle, or shotgun;
- The price paid or the amount loaned;
- The type and identifying number of identification used by the person with whom the transaction was made, which must be either a valid driver's license or identification card issued by any state or two pieces of identification issued by a governmental agency, one of which must be descriptive of the person identified; and
- The nature of the transaction, a number identifying the transaction, the store identification as designated by the applicable law enforcement agency, or the name and address of the business, the name of the person conducting the transaction, and the location of the property.
This record must be open to the inspection of any commissioned law enforcement officer of the state or any of its political subdivisions at all times during ordinary hours of business, or at reasonable times if ordinary business hours are not kept. The record must be maintained wherever that business is conducted for three years following the date of the transaction.
A second-hand dealer under Washington law is any person engaged "in the business of purchasing, selling, trading, consignment selling, or otherwise transferring for value, second-hand property including metal junk, melted metals, precious metals, whether or not the person maintains a fixed place of business within the state." A second-hand dealer includes a person or entity that conducts business at flea markets or swap meets more than three times per year…
[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]