SB 5381 has passed the Washington State senate and is currently waiting in the house.
This bill is to create a return protocol for firearms that law enforcement agencies in the state have taken possession of.
It sets forth requirements before the firearm is to be returned to the owner. It requires law enforcement to provide a notification of request to return a firearm to a family member or household member who requested to be notified.
It also requires law enforcement to hold the firearm for 72 hours if there is a request for notification before it releases the firearm back to the owner.
The law enforcement agency will have to hold onto a firearm for at least 24 hours before it may return it to the owner.
The bill states in section 2.2:
A law enforcement agency shall not release the information provided in this section to any party other than a family or household member who has an incident or case number and who has requested to be notified pursuant to this section
However the bill doesn’t appear to require any proof of relationship or whether or not the request for notification can be done over the phone or in person.
Section 2.1 does appear to empower law enforcement agencies to create their own rules as far as protocol, though the section gives ways that notifications can be distributed and has a requirement for the return of multiple firearms.
There is also a section that gives immunity from liability to pubic entities.
Section 2.4 states:
An appointed or elected official, public employee, or public agency as defined in RCW 4.24.470, or combination of units of local government and its employees, as provided in RCW 36.28A.010, are immune from civil liability for damages for any release of information or the failure to release information related to this section, so long as the release or failure was without gross negligence.
The bill passed with all state senators voting for it, and it has been passed out of the house judiciary committee with one member voting do not pass.