43.43.570  <<  43.43.580 >>   43.43.585

Firearms background check unitAutomated firearms background check systemFee.

(1) The Washington state patrol shall establish a firearms background check unit to serve as a centralized single point of contact for dealers to conduct background checks for firearms sales or transfers required under chapter 9.41 RCW and the federal Brady handgun violence prevention act (18 U.S.C. Sec. 921 et seq.). The Washington state patrol shall establish an automated firearms background check system to conduct background checks on applicants for the purchase or transfer of a firearm. The system must include the following characteristics:
(a) Allow a dealer to contact the Washington state patrol through a web portal or other electronic means and by telephone to request a background check of an applicant for the purchase or transfer of a firearm;
(b) Provide a dealer with a notification that a firearm purchase or transfer application has been received;
(c) Assign a unique identifier to the background check inquiry;
(d) Provide an automated response to the dealer indicating whether the transfer may proceed or is denied, or that the check is indeterminate and will require further investigation;
(e) Include measures to ensure data integrity and the confidentiality and security of all records and data transmitted and received by the system; and
(f) Include a performance metrics tracking system to evaluate the performance of the background check system.
(2) Upon receipt of a request from a dealer for a background check in connection with the sale or transfer of a firearm, the Washington state patrol shall:
(a) Provide the dealer with a notification that a firearm transfer application has been received;
(b) Conduct a check of the national instant criminal background check system and the following additional records systems to determine whether the transferee is prohibited from possessing a firearm under state or federal law: (i) The Washington crime information center and Washington state identification system; (ii) the health care authority electronic database; (iii) the federal bureau of investigation national data exchange database and any available repository of statewide local law enforcement record management systems information; (iv) the administrative office of the courts case management system; and (v) other databases or resources as appropriate;
(c) Perform an equivalency analysis on criminal charges in foreign jurisdictions to determine if the applicant has been convicted as defined in RCW 9.41.040(3) and if the offense is equivalent to a Washington felony as defined in RCW 9.41.010(8);
(d) Notify the dealer without delay that the records indicate the individual is prohibited from possessing a firearm and the transfer is denied or that the individual is approved to complete the transfer. If the results of the background check are indeterminate, the Washington state patrol shall notify the dealer of the delay and conduct necessary research and investigation to resolve the inquiry; and
(e) Provide the dealer with a unique identifier for the inquiry.
(3) The Washington state patrol may hold the delivery of a firearm to an applicant under the circumstances provided in RCW 9.41.090 (4) and (5).
(4)(a) The Washington state patrol shall require a dealer to charge each firearm purchaser or transferee a fee for performing background checks in connection with firearms transfers. The fee must be set at an amount necessary to cover the annual costs of operating and maintaining the firearm background check system but shall not exceed eighteen dollars. The Washington state patrol shall transmit the fees collected to the state treasurer for deposit in the state firearms background check system account created in RCW 43.43.590. It is the intent of the legislature that once the state firearm background check system is established, the fee established in this section will replace the fee required in RCW 9.41.090(7).
(b) The background check fee required under this subsection does not apply to any background check conducted in connection with a pawnbroker's receipt of a pawned firearm or the redemption of a pawned firearm.
(5) The Washington state patrol shall establish a procedure for a person who has been denied a firearms transfer as the result of a background check to appeal the denial to the Washington state patrol and to obtain information on the basis for the denial and procedures to review and correct any erroneous records that led to the denial.
(6) The Washington state patrol shall work with the administrative office of the courts to build a link between the firearm background check system and the administrative office of the courts case management system for the purpose of accessing court records to determine a person's eligibility to possess a firearm.
(7) Upon establishment of the firearm background check system under this section, the Washington state patrol shall notify each dealer in the state of the existence of the system, and the dealer must use the system to conduct background checks for firearm sales or transfers beginning on the date that is thirty days after issuance of the notification.
(8) The Washington state patrol shall consult with the Washington background check advisory board created in RCW 43.43.585 in carrying out its duties under this section.
(9) All records and information prepared, obtained, used, or retained by the Washington state patrol in connection with a request for a firearm background check are exempt from public inspection and copying under chapter 42.56 RCW.
(10) The Washington state patrol may adopt rules necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
(11) For the purposes of this section, "dealer" has the same meaning as given in RCW 9.41.010.
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