Moses Lake man arrested over attempt to purchase gun

February 12, 2020 12:18 AM

MOSES LAKE — A Moses Lake man was arrested in Seattle last week and held on $750,000 bail after attempting to purchase a firearm in Moses Lake, according to police.

Hunter Coughlin, 26, was charged with violating a protection order that was issued against him by a King County court after attempting to purchase the gun as a prohibited person.

Coughlin’s attempted purchase was flagged by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which then sent a notification to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, according to police officials. Local law enforcement has been getting notifications from the WASPC when a prohibited buyer with a previous felony conviction or an outstanding court order, or certain other criteria, attempts to purchase a firearm since new laws came into effect in 2017.

Though local police departments are not legally required to investigate those failed purchases, the WASPC does provide funding for investigations and prosecution. In a 12-month period between 2018 and 2019, the WASPC referred more than 900 cases to local law enforcement, around 5 percent of which were due to outstanding protection orders, according to a 2019 report.

— Staff report