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Friday, October 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Election 2014: I-591, I-594 differ over gun control

The duel between gun-control initiatives is not just a high-stakes clash between philosophies; it also pits a measure that’s short and sweet against one that features in-depth detail. Initiative 591, supported by state and national groups who tout their support of the Second Amendment, is one of the shortest measures to make the ballot in recent memory. Its 191 words would bar any illegal seizures of guns and wouldn’t allow Washington to change its background check laws unless there’s a new national standard.

Gun control measure backing from Seattle region

The vast majority of money supporting the initiative to expand background checks on guns comes from just 10 ZIP codes in the Seattle area, much of it from people with ties to the tech industry. An analysis of contributions reported to the state Public Disclosure Commission shows more than $2.8 million in contributions for Initiative 594 – or about 84 cents of every dollar contributed – comes from downtown Seattle, areas around Lake Washington and Shoreline. So far, the ballot measure to extend background checks from licensed dealers to most private sales has raised about $3.2 million, about three times more than the campaign for a counterproposal.

Two gun initiatives likely to be on Washington state ballot

OLYMPIA – A pair of initiatives on gun control had their second and likely last hearing Wednesday, with supporters and opponents disagreeing sharply on when giving a gun to another person would require a background check. Wednesday’s hearing by the Senate Law and Justice Committee didn’t have the same “star power” as Tuesday’s House hearing without former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords and former astronaut Mark Kelly to speak in favor of Initiative 594. But it did feature more questions by legislators of the two initiatives’ sponsors, sparking a debate over what it means to “transfer” a firearm.

Gabrielle Giffords, GU students speak at gun control hearing

OLYMPIA – Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords urged Washington legislators to “be bold, be courageous” and require wider background checks on gun sales. Gun rights advocates urged lawmakers to protect constitutional rights and pass a competing initiative. But even before testimony began in a packed hearing room Tuesday, it was clear the Legislature is likely to do neither.

Gun background check backers submit I-594 signatures

OLYMPIA – Sponsors of a proposal to expand background checks for gun purchases turned in 250,000 signatures Wednesday to qualify it as an initiative to the Legislature. If they are valid, that’s enough to have Initiative 594 considered in the 2014 session. Initiative campaigns typically have a rejection rate of 10 percent to 15 percent of all signatures, so sponsors plan to turn in as many as 75,000 more in December.