Washington State House Democrats


24-hour reporting of lost or stolen firearms becomes law in Washington State

Olympia—Supporters of commonsense gun safety legislation scored another victory in Washington State today as Governor Inslee signed HB 1903 into law. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Liz Berry (D-Queen Anne), requires lost or stolen firearms be reported to law enforcement within 24 hours of discovering they are missing. 

“States with these laws have a 30% lower risk that guns will be purchased in that state and recovered after a crime in another state,” said Rep. Berry. “By giving law enforcement the tools they need to identify and investigate patterns of gun trafficking our communities will be safer. This bill will save lives.” 

HB 1903 addresses a report from Giffords that 380,000 firearms are stolen each year from gun owners in the United States. Many of these stolen firearms are not reported to law enforcement and are subsequently trafficked, sold illegally and used in violent crimes. And many cities have reported alarming spikes in the number of firearms stolen from cars. However, less than 240,000 gun thefts are reported to police each year suggesting that nearly 40% of the guns lost or stolen in the United States are never reported to law enforcement.   

Rep. Berry is also the author of laws to ban untraceable, homemade ‘ghost guns’ and to implement a 10-day waiting period and mandatory safety training for all firearm purchases in Washington. 

For Rep. Berry, ending gun violence is personal. In 2011, her former boss and mentor U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot in an attempt on her life at a constituent event. The attack killed six people, including her friend and colleague, Gabe Zimmerman who is first congressional staffer to be killed in the line of duty.  

“Gun violence is now the leading cause of death among children in this country,” said Rep. Berry. “As a mom of two young kids, I won’t stop fighting to keep our communities safe.” 

The bill goes into effect June 5, 2024.