Legislature fails to pass bill to let patrol destroy guns

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SEATTLE (AP) – The Washington Legislature ended this year’s session without passing a bill that would have allowed the State Patrol to destroy firearms confiscated during criminal investigations.

Under current law, the agency must auction or trade crime guns with a firearms dealer, who sells them to the public. They not only sell handguns and hunting rifles, but also assault weapons.

House Bill 1483 sought to give the agency the option to destroy them instead, but it never received a vote on the House floor.

The agency has feared that the sold guns would be used in a new crime, and an Associated Press investigation that found more than a dozen of the 6,000 firearms sold by Washington state law enforcement agencies since 2010 ended up in new criminal investigations, including three sold by the State Patrol.