Walsh takes steps to protect Washingtonians who voluntarily surrendered bump-stocks through buy-back program

A recent public records request asking the state patrol to release the names and addresses of citizens participating in the state's bump-stock buy-back program has prompted legislators in the state House of Representatives to take immediate action.

Lawmakers dropped a bill that would protect the personal information of those who voluntarily surrendered their hardware. Sponsors of the measure believe a public records request of this type is both suspicious and dangerous. They say an emergency bill is worthy of the special attention of the Legislature and the governor.

Under House Bill 2182, the names, addresses and other personally identifying information of residents who participated in the program would be exempt from public records requests.

Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, a co-sponsor of the measure, released the following statement regarding the bill:

“This is very troubling. It's reasonable to suspect the person requesting this information may be doing so as part of a partisan effort to publicly identify people who owned this type of hardware.

“We were told the intent of the buy-back program and the underlining bill—which banned bump-stocks—would not hurt those who voluntarily gave up their hardware. Now, here we are. This public safety issue needs to be addressed quickly.

“Residents who participated in the buy-back program need to be protected. This bill narrowly and surgically exempts those who surrendered their bump-stocks. It clearly protects their constitutional right to privacy and protection from this kind of nefariously intended request.”

House Bill 2182 has been referred to the House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee.


Washington State House Republican Communications