The House Takes Aim at Firearms Disposal with Passage of Senn’s HB 2021

OLYMPIA—In a significant victory for gun responsibility advocates, the Washington State House has passed Representative Tana Senn’s House Bill 2021, signaling a decisive move to address the state’s role in the distribution of firearms.  

The bill aims to dismantle Washington State’s involvement in selling firearms and promote responsible gun management practices. The legislation mandates the disposal of firearms acquired through gun buyback programs, including clear guidelines to prevent these weapons from unintentionally re-entering the market. Additionally, the bill grants the Washington State Patrol (WSP) the authority to destroy firearms, aligning WSP’s authority with all other law enforcement entities in our state.  

The impetus behind House Bill 2021 stems from a thorough investigation that revealed alarming patterns of firearms obtained by law enforcement being resold and subsequently used in criminal activities and tragedies across the state. Rep. Senn, along with her colleagues, recognized the need for legislative intervention to safeguard communities from the devastating consequences of unchecked gun proliferation. 

“Washington State should not be an arms dealer. No perceived benefit of selling a weapon or weapon part outweighs the potential consequence of it being used in a subsequent crime,” said Senn. “Imagine if you sell a firearm to a buyback program, only to discover that it is later used in a crime, potentially against a member of your own community. By enacting House Bill 2021, we are taking proactive steps to prevent this and other tragedies from happening.” 

Washington State Patrol has long advocated for this policy, as have other local law enforcement leaders. “Police Departments should not take guns in the front door and sell them out the back door,” said Past President of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs and Mercer Island Police Chief Ed Holmes. “We should not be in the business of selling guns.”   

Representative Senn is a long-time advocate for gun responsibility, having led efforts to ban guns at the state capitol, government buildings and ballot counting locations. Rep. Senn and her colleagues remain committed to advancing policies that promote responsible gun ownership and enhance public safety, prioritizing the well-being of its residents. 

House Bill 2021 will now be considered in the Washington State Senate.