Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility

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July 20, 2014

Today is a really, really hard day for my husband Lonnie and me.

Our daughter Jessica was taken from us two years ago today in the mass shooting in a theater in Aurora, Colorado as she and a friend were watching a movie.

And it’s not just this anniversary that’s so painful for us. Every time the news reports another shooting, it takes us right back to the moment we got that call. And our hearts break all over again.

Lonnie and I went to Sandy Hook, we went to Washington after the Navy Yard shootings, and we went to California after the Isla Vista shooting. We try to just be there for the families who are going through what we did. My heart breaks for them, and I’d like to be able to tell them it gets better with time — but it doesn’t.

And each new shooting means another family is going through this same grieving process.

There’s no one solution to reduce gun violence, and background checks can’t prevent every shooting – nothing can. But there is a simple way to help keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons and other dangerous people — we need to close the loophole that makes it easy for them to get a gun without a background check.

Washington can take a big step towards reducing gun violence by voting Yes on 594 this November. Please click here to pledge your vote, and let’s close the loophole in Washington.

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In Case You Missed It: New Elway Poll Finds Initiative 594 in Strong Position as Voters Cut Through Confusion on Background Check Initiatives

July 15, 2014

Today the Associated Press reported on new findings by the independent, non-partisan Elway Poll, which found 70% of Washingtonians intend to vote for Initiative 594, the ballot measure that will close the loophole in our law that makes it easy for convicted felons and other dangerous people to obtain firearms without a background check.

The poll, which found majority support among Republicans and Democrats as well as increased support from independents, shows Initiative 594 in a strong position with the election just over 3 months away. Initiative 591, a measure described by the Seattle Times in its July 5th editorial as “wholly inappropriate, unnecessary and potentially a reckless retreat” on background checks, was supported by only 46%.

As the Tacoma News Tribune reported:

“Pollster Stuart Elway says support for the background checks measure, I-594, remained strong compared to a previous poll in April that showed 72 percent inclined to vote for it. Meanwhile, he said voters were cooling to I-591. In April, 55 percent of voters said they were inclined to vote for the initiative that would bar Washington from going beyond the national gun background check standard, which requires checks for sales by licensed dealers but not for purchases from private sellers.”

The poll also found that the number of voters intending to vote for both Initiative 594 and Initiative 591, which are incompatible with one another, fell to 32%.

Initiative 594, which is sponsored by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, ensures that guns sold in Washington State go through the same background check, no matter where the gun is being bought or whom it is being bought from. It closes the loophole in Washington law that allows convicted felons, domestic abusers, and the seriously mentally ill to purchase guns at gun shows or online with no questions asked. Background checks are effective at reducing crime and saving lives; states with background checks on all handgun sales see 39% fewer handgun murders of law enforcement officers and 38% fewer handgun murders of women by intimate partners. Initiative 594 uses the same system of criminal background checks that has worked well for hunters, gun owners, gun dealers and law enforcement for decades.

The News Tribune: Strong support among WA voters for gun background checks

July 15, 2014

The News Tribune reports:

A new poll shows strong support among Washington voters for a ballot initiative that would require background checks on all firearm sales in the state.

The Elway Poll found that 70 percent of people were inclined to vote for Initiative 594.


Pollster Stuart Elway says support for the background checks measure, I-594, remained strong compared to a previous poll in April that showed 72 percent inclined to vote for it. Meanwhile, he said voters were cooling to I-591.

Read the whole article here.

KXLY: Initiative 594 heats up gun debate in Washington

July 7, 2014

KXLY reports:

In November, voters in Washington state will decide on a measure aimed at guns and firearms.

Initiative 594, if passes would require any transfer or sale, private or public to be done through a licensed dealer. Right now, it’s required to have a background check through dealers, but not through private sales.

Proponents, like Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart want to close a loop hole in the law. and require every sale or transfer of a firearm go through a licensed dealer for a background check.

“Statistics show that firearm deaths on our armed officers in states that have passed closing this loophole have actually gone down,” Stuckart said.

Watch the report here.

Seattle Times Editorial: In competing gun measures — Yes, on I-594; No on I-591

July 6, 2014

The Seattle Times Editorial Board endorses Initiative 594:

Washington voters have an important opportunity to make an incremental step toward greater public safety.

On the November ballot, they face two gun-related initiatives. Voters should approve Initiative 594, which would require background checks on all gun sales. They should reject the other proposal.

The same quick, familiar background screening done by gun dealers for retail sales would be applied to purchases at gun shows, and for online sales and private transactions.

The goal is simple: Protect Washington residents from those the law and sad experiences have demonstrated should not have access to firearms — those with felony convictions, sex offenders, domestic abusers and those with serious mental illnesses.

These prohibited buyers are already screened at one level of transaction: gun shops. I-594 simply makes a logical extension of background checks to other public and private settings that now evade scrutiny.

Read the whole endorsement editorial here.

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