• Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility

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The Washington Alliance for Gun Safety is launching "Creep Week", a campaign designed to highlight the impact of gun purchase loopholes on victims of domestic violence and crime. And they're leading off with the horrible case of Monique Williams, a 29-year-old nurse in the Tri-Cities area who was killed in May.

Police believe a man she'd recently broken up with forced his way into her house, shot her in the head, then killed himself.

That man, Aaron Newport, has a history of domestic violence, according to court records cited by the Tri-City Herald. According the people behind "Creep Week," Newport tried to buy a handgun from a licensed dealer after the breakup with Williams, but he couldn't because he failed a background check.

"The system worked: as a domestic abuser, Newport posed an elevated danger with a firearm," says the pro-594 group Everytown for Gun Safety. "The background check efficiently screened him from getting one." (As evidence, however, they cite this police report, which doesn't say anything about such a check.)

But Newport, taking advantage of a gaping loophole in the state's gun laws, found a .40 caliber handgun on Craigslist, according to police. He purchased it in a parking lot—no background check required.

Closing that loophole, which Initiative 594 seeks to do, would have prevented Newport from buying that gun. Of course, he could have tried to steal a gun or obtain a firearm some other way. But at least it wouldn't have been so damn easy—like buying a sofa, for chrissakes.

More than 40,000 guns are available annually on the background-check-free online market, according to an analysis by I-594's supporters, and people convicted of crimes who are prohibited from owning guns are flocking to it.

We'll be able to vote to close the loophole in 28 days—and Seattle voter turnout will be critical if the initiative is to pass. More cases of creeps who got their hands on guns through the loophole, according to I-594's backers, are below the jump. They'll be counting them down over the rest of the week.

  • Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility
John Christian Parks was arrested by U.S. Forest Service officers when he was caught smoking methamphetamine and shooting semi-automatic rifles with a group of friends on federal forest land. Parks, an eight-time felon, was prohibited from possessing firearms but was able to purchase at least 3 rifles online with no background checks.

Michael Joanen, convicted of burglary and possession of a stolen firearm in Whatcom County, was arrested in an ATF sting earlier this year in Olympia. Joanen had been buying, selling, and trading firearms through Facebook without background checks, though he was a prohibited purchaser.

Dmitry Smirnov, ineligible to buy a firearm in the United States, purchased a handgun from a private seller he met on Armslist. Smirnov met the seller in a Federal Way, Washington parking lot, paid $600 to obtain a .40 caliber pistol, and used it to shoot and kill Jitka Vesal outside Chicago. Smirnov is currently serving a life sentence in an Illinois prison for the murder.

This post has been updated since its original publication.