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A Washington State teen is facing a charge of first-degree manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of his friend in the community of Federal Way July 2, but would it be fair to characterize this as another failure of a restrictive gun control initiative passed by voters in 2014 that was supposed to prevent this sort of crime?
According to the Associated Press and KCPQ News, the 14-year-old suspect turned himself in to police. The dead friend was identified as Alex Gonzales, also 14. He was shot through the head, apparently at point blank range.
Seattle - Times - Gonzales - Girlfriend - Teen
The Seattle Times reported that Gonzales, his girlfriend and the teen who allegedly brought the handgun to the Gonzales family apartment. He had reportedly first shown Gonzales and the girlfriend the handgun two days earlier, claiming to have purchased it for $400.
Is this where Initiative 594, the $10.2 million initiative adopted almost five years ago, apparently failed? The measure, sponsored by the Alliance for Gun Responsibility—a billionaire-backed gun prohibition lobbying group based in Seattle—established so-called “universal background checks.” The suspect could not possibly have legally purchased that firearm due to his age under state or federal law. The gun was not immediately recovered because the suspect reportedly fled the apartment after the shooting.
Suspect - Days - Incident - Shooting - Accident
When the suspect finally did turn himself in three days after the incident, he reportedly insisted the shooting was an accident.
The King County Prosecutor’s office also reportedly charged the teen with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
Questions - Suspect - Gun - Gun - Crime
This raises several questions. Where did the suspect get the gun and who sold it to him? Could that gun have possibly been stolen? If so, that’s another crime.
Under state and federal statute, it is illegal to sell a handgun to someone the age of the suspect. The teen could not have legally carried that pistol, either.
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