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A Capitol Hill example of a gun loophole I-594 would close

The 2013 death of Joel Reuter, the 28-year-old mentally ill man who was killed by police snipers after an 8-hour standoff on Capitol Hill, provides a real world example of how I-594 might be put to use.

CHS previously looked at some of the Capitol Hill donors and endorsements supporting the I-594 cause. We also featured an essay from former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels about his support for the initiative as a “first step” in improving gun control in the state.

Following Reuter’s 2013 death, detectives conducted an investigation into the gun Reuter brandished during the incident. According to police reports, the last registered owner of the gun was not Reuter, but a Seattle University law student living in Bellevue. When detectives visited the man’s house, he identified the gun as one he had previously owned, but told detectives he sold it on Armslist.com — a popular firearms classifieds website. The Bellevue man was not a licensed firearms dealer, according to the investigation report.

Two months before Reuter’s death, the man arranged to meet the Armslist buyer at a Dairy Queen parking lot to make the transaction. When detectives showed the man a picture of Reuter, he said Reuter was definitely not the buyer.

It turns out the buyer’s Bonney Lake lake address and “Justice Lawman” name were both fakes. And that’s where the trail goes cold. The Bellevue man told investigators he “usually” asks to see a buyer’s drivers license and concealed carry permit before selling a gun, but it appears he never asked this particular buyer. Two months later, Reuter was shot to death while holding the Glock 26. It is not known how he obtained it.

Under I-594, background checks by licensed firearm dealers would be required for such online transactions. I-594 would not have prevented Reuter from obtaining a gun, but the investigation does show some of the gaps I-594 supporters are trying to close. I-591 is also on the November 4th ballot and would prevent universal background checks in the state that are stricter than the national standard, effectively preventing anything like I-594. Meanwhile, Joel’s Law, a legislative effort supported by Reuter’s parent that would make it easier to have family members committed for mental health treatment, faces continued delay in Olympia.

 

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Neighbor
Neighbor
6 years ago

Regardless of your opinion on I-594, this article is completely misleading. The vague investigation referenced here lends itself more to the idea that guns will never be regulated at the street level.
If anything, this article should be in support of Joel’s Law, which is only briefly touched on in the last sentence. Ignorance around mental health concerns is the real root of this tragedy (that occurred in our neighborhood). Have some respect, don’t use this individual’s story as a vehicle for your political leanings.

caphilllover@hotmail.com
caphilllover@hotmail.com
6 years ago

This article is so misleading. If the proposed initiative were law at the time of this incident it would have not prevented it. The man that died could legally purchase a firearm at Cabela’s or anywhere he pleased. His issue was mental illness…a different conversation. Don’t lie please.

jseattle
Admin
6 years ago

“I-594 would not have prevented Reuter from obtaining a gun, but the investigation does show some of the gaps I-594 supporters are trying to close.”

calhoun
6 years ago

There is no excuse for the delay in passing of Joel’s Law….it needs to be implemented asap in order to save lives. Get on it, state Legislature!

Doktor Jeep
Doktor Jeep
6 years ago

So the “mystery or where the nutball got the gun” is more easily solved with I-594 but does it prevent incidents?

We used to lock up criminals and put crazy people in institutions but the prisons are too full of people held there for victimless crimes and people are overmedicated because it takes real work to deal with mental illness.

So too many things involving money and society would need to change to actually prevent incidents.

And since those with money are not giving it up and society wants to continues its death spiral towards Mad Max, let’s just pick on inanimate objects.

I’m sure some people will get told, as they are in the hospital with a severed spine or having to wear a colostomy bag for the rest of their life: “Hey, we found out where the gun came from!” . Yeah big deal at that point. And nobody will ask why the perpetrator was out on the street in the first place (corrupt justice system?), or why nobody noticed the bad reaction to the psyche meds (corrupt Big Pharma and too many self-centered people who can’t see their friends or family spiraling towards insanity?).

I-594 addresses the wrong questions and is about as effective in saving lives as drawing chalk around bodies.

M4S
M4S
6 years ago
Reply to  Doktor Jeep

Au contraire: Universal background checks have reduced gun deaths/injuries in every state that’s passed them. If there were any valid arguments against I-594, the gun lobby wouldn’t need I-591.

libby spinzone
libby spinzone
6 years ago

So what your article is really saying is that I-594 would not have prevented this situation (ironically like ALL the examples in the pro 594 commercials if you look at the facts), but still, it’s a good thing because it’s a good thing and it’s just common sense and that’s a good thing.

Got it.

The (big scary) “gun lobby” needs I-591 because although those who author and support I-594 (to the tune of 10 MILLION dollars) say they don’t want to take away guns, but if you notice, they also say when pressed (you know, presented with the facts) that I-594 isn’t perfect, but it is a sensible “first step”. A first step? So you really do want to take away guns, just step by step…

Got it.

Now for bonus points, here’s something to ponder…
One of the 594 ads says that a criminal who fails a background check can just go buy a gun online or at a gun show… NO QUESTIONS ASKED (it says that).

Interesting statement….”no questions asked”. Let’s think about that one…
So a criminal (felon/fugitive/abuser) is at a gun store, he fills out a background check form, he checks the right boxes (lies) that would cause the gun dealer to actually process the background check, the dealer calls the FBI to perform the background check, the FBI says “no, he fails because he is a [felon/fugitive/abuser] (have you figured out the punch line yet?)….and the gun dealer hangs up and says to the criminal, “sorry, no gun for you” and the criminal walks out… and if you believe the 594 ads, he then goes and buys a gun online or at a gun show and hurts/kills someone. OK…so when the criminal attempted to acquire the gun, he committed a felony. The gun dealer knows that, the FBI on the other line knows that, they BOTH know exactly where the criminal/fugitive is (he’s at the gun shop!)… and NOBODY DOES ANYTHING. The criminal is not arrested or prosecuted or anything. He just walks out after having committed a felony.

Did you know that more than 40,000 felons/fugitives were denied guns in 2010 in the US and only 44 (FORTY FOUR) were prosecuted! That is like calling the police and saying, “hi there, I am a felon or fugitive (people the police are supposedly looking for?) in the process of committing a felony” and they say, “have a nice day”.

If the $10 million that Bloomberg and the rest of his limosuine liberals was put towards actually arresting and prosecuting bad people trying to get guns, we might see some impact, but no…just like the recent illegal alien who was deported 6 times, but never incarcerated (returning after deportation is…you guessed it…a felony) who killed the police officer in California, we continue to catch and release or now we don’t even bother to catch at all.

M4S
M4S
6 years ago
Reply to  libby spinzone

“If the $10 million that Bloomberg and the rest of his limosuine liberals was put towards actually arresting and prosecuting bad people trying to get guns …”

… the gun lobby would scream “Persecution!” “Dictatorship!”

libby spinzone
libby spinzone
6 years ago
Reply to  M4S

Your point would be awesome if it was true, but alas, the Hanauers, Bloombergs and Obamas of the world have apparently convinced everyone that the (big scary) “gun lobby” wants everyone to have unlimited guns of any type, no questions asked, when in fact, “the gun lobby” (the NRA) has lobbied directly to the President and his sidekick, shotgun Joe, to actually enforce the existing laws, which they are currently NOT doing. Shotgun Joe’s response was “we don’t have time for that”.

Here ya go…
http://www.nraila.org/news-issues/articles/2013/1/biden-says-administration-doesnt-have-time-to-prosecute-people-who-lie-on-background-checks.aspx

BTW…did you know that many states (I think it is about 20) intentionally don’t feed mental health data into the NICS background check system? Yep, Google it or see fixnics.org

Laws are useless without enforcement.

libby spinzone
libby spinzone
6 years ago

Oh, and by the way… you will never guess who fixnics.org is sponsored by…
…are you waiting for it?
….ready?
….here it comes
…you won’t believe it
…it’s too good to be true
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (you know…the “gun lobby”)

It is so frustrating to see so much misinformation out there and the demonization of responsible law abiding people who wish to own guns for sport, hunting, self defense or just to look at them.
The anti-gun crowd just blatantly lies every day in print, on the web, on TV and radio… and for some reason, it is permitted.

Kevin Trudeau, the infomercial guy is serving a 10 year sentence because he sold 100,000 diet books for a diet that doesn’t work, yet Bloomberg’s group can create TV ads that say you can buy a gun from an online website without a background check and they actually show the gunbroker.com website in the ad and gunbroker actually requires background checks…100%…and nobody seems to care that they are allowed to just lie to influence people to vote how they want people to vote.
I fail to understand why people accept this. Have we become that fat, dumb and lazy as a society that we just allow this? I shake my head.

Bek
Bek
6 years ago

Yes, I wish when we were looking at these laws, we’d consider whether they address the problem we think they are. There may be a correlation to states that instituted 100% background checks, but do we know why that is? Better awareness and education on the part of the public due to the debate? Direct effects?

I agree that we need to do more for the mental health law than restrict guns which are overwhelmingly owned by sane (legally), law-abiding citizens.