Gun database ab­sent more than 500,000 records

The News Tribune - - Local - As­so­ci­ated Press


Of­fi­cials say the records of more than 525,000 hand­gun pur­chases have not been en­tered into a Wash­ing­ton state database used by po­lice and courts.

KING-TV re­ports the back­log in the database main­tained by the state Depart­ment of Li­cens­ing means about three years of hand­gun pur­chase and trans­fer records are un­avail­able to au­thor­i­ties.

Li­cens­ing em­ploy­ees scan each doc­u­ment to cre­ate a dig­i­tal image, and then they man­u­ally type most of the in­for­ma­tion into the database.

Depart­ment firearms pro­gram ad­min­is­tra­tor Jen­nifer Richards says the agency has be­gun test­ing soft­ware that ex­tracts the doc­u­ment text so it can be up­loaded, speed­ing up the data en­try process.

The Wash­ing­ton As­so­ci­a­tion of Sher­iffs and Po­lice Chiefs says of­fi­cers rou­tinely ac­cess the database for in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

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