(Seattle, WA) – Last night, in the statewide debate of the Initiative 594 campaign, former Bellingham Police Chief Don Pierce clearly and concisely laid out the case to close the background check loophole and highlighted the clear choice before Washington voters on Initiatives 594 and 591. Pierce described how 594 will make it harder for criminals and other dangerous people to obtain guns while respecting Second Amendment rights, and turned back the gun lobby’s attempts to mislead and confuse Washington voters.
The debate addressed several key aspects of the choice voters face in this year’s election. Video can be found at the following links:
Why Initiative 594? (Don Pierce): “Currently, one of those individuals who is a convicted felon or domestic abuser can use the loophole in our current law and buy … their gun from a private seller. What this does is simply expand the system that we’ve used for decades to all sales. It’s not a new system, it’s not new regulations, it’s simply closing the loophole and making sure that folks can’t go around the current background check system to purchase a gun.”
Respect for Second Amendment Rights (Don Pierce):”The way we that protect the citizen, the gun owner like me, is that we say, all that this is about is keeping guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers, and the seriously mentally ill. Folks who are already prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. So I have no fear as a gun owner of background checks. I know I’m not a prohibited purchaser, so it doesn’t impact my Constitutional rights at all.”
Department of Licensing Database (Don Pierce): “Initiative 594 does not create a registry. It has nothing to do with a registry. We do not have a registry in the State of Washington. The Department of Licensing has a database … and let me tell you how it’s used: as a police officer working the streets, it was not uncommon for me personally to come across a gun that was used in the commission of a crime … and we used this database in order to get that gun back to its rightful owner.”
Purpose of Initiative 591: Blocking Initiative 594 (Don Pierce): “591 was clearly written and put on the ballot in opposition to 594 … 591 is a very strange restatement [of existing law] that really does make it more difficult for the citizens of this state to do what they feel is right in terms of keeping their communities safe.”
“It’s a simple choice: 591 says citizens of the state of Washington, you don’t get to make the decision about what you want to do on closing the background check loophole,” said Pierce. “594 says we want to protect our police officers, our victims of domestic violence, by doing something that’s very simple and rational by closing the background check loophole.”
The entire debate can be viewed via KCTS 9.