Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility

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The Spokesman-Review: Law enforcement split on Washington gun background check initiatives

September 1, 2014

The Spokesman-Review reports:

Whether or not Washington should expand background checks on gun sales and transfers has divided support within the law enforcement community, with some organizations choosing to not weigh in at all on two competing measures on the November ballot.

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs has supported the policy idea of universal background checks in the past, including a bill that didn’t gain traction in the Legislature last year, but the group historically doesn’t weigh in on initiatives, said current executive director Mitch Barker, and the group is remaining neutral on the two measures before voters this year.

Read the whole article here.

The Tri-City Herald: Columbia Basin Badger Club takes on dueling gun-related ballot measures

September 1, 2014

The Tri-City Herald reports:

Two speakers Friday tried to win potential voters over to their side of controversial gun-related ballot issues.

Rory Graves, whose mother, a Tri-City resident, was shot in a domestic violence incident two years ago, spoke in favor of Initiative 594, which, if passed, would require background checks on all gun sales, including ones made on the Internet and at gun shows.

Phil Watson, director of special projects with the Second Amendment Foundation, told the audience at the Richland Red Lion that they should vote for Initiative 591 instead, which would forbid the state from passing gun background checks beyond what federal law allows, on Nov. 5.

The 16 states that require background checks on all gun sales have seen 38 percent fewer gun-related murders, said Graves, who was representing the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility in front of 80 people at the Columbia Basin Badger Club forum.

“We know closing these loopholes is effective in preventing gun violence,” she said. “It’s common sense to make sure everyone in the state goes through the same background check.”

Read the whole article here.

The Tri-City Herald: In Focus: Initiative 594 will cut crime, save lives

September 1, 2014

Rory Graves writes in the Tri-City Herald:

In 2012, my mother became one of far too many women who fall victim to domestic violence when she was shot by her husband. Thankfully she survived her attack, but many women are not as lucky. Domestic violence can easily become fatal when abusers have easy access to guns, and that is the reality my family lives with to this day. That’s why I urge you to join me this November in voting for Initiative 594, which will help keep guns out of dangerous hands, reduce crime, and save lives.

No one measure can stop all incidents of gun violence. But we know that background checks are effective at keeping guns out of dangerous hands. In states with background checks on all handgun sales, 38 percent fewer women were shot to death by intimate partners. As a domestic violence advocate, I know that these figures are more than statistics; they represent real women in abusive relationships who may well be kept from harm by a simple and easy background check.

Read the whole letter here.

Statement from campaign manager Zach Silk

August 25, 2014

Today, the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility released the following statement from campaign manager Zach Silk regarding contributions made today to Initiative 594 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Nick Hanauer:


“For over a year, Washingtonians from every walk of life have been stepping up to close the loophole in our state’s background check law. Today’s contributions represent yet more support for this important policy measure that will reduce crime and save lives in our state,” said Zach Silk, campaign manager for the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility. “Nearly 350,000 people came together to put Initiative 594 on the ballot, and almost 7,500 supporters from nearly every county in the state have contributed to help ensure its passage in November. Their support, and that of prominent members of our community like Bill and Melinda Gates, Nick and Leslie Hanauer, Steve and Connie Ballmer, Paul Allen, and others, will make it possible for us to finally take action. We are grateful to everyone who is a part of this movement to reduce gun violence in Washington.”

The Seattle Times: Seattle Times recommendations for the November 2014 election

August 25, 2014

The Seattle Times reports:

I-594 provides a practical expansion of background checks on all gun sales — clarity and consistency to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. I-594 is no protective panacea against the kinds of public assaults Seattle has suffered in recent years. But it is a step forward. Vote yes on I-594.

I-591, is wholly inappropriate, unnecessary and potentially a reckless retreat. It’s hard to discern whether the mushy vague language of the brief initiative is a product of poor writing — or entirely the point. Vote no on I-591.

Read the whole article here.

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Top five contributors: Nicolas Hanauer, Melinda Gates, William Gates III, Paul Allen, Connie Ballmer