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The Everett Herald: Everett police group asks out of TV ad for I-591

October 23, 2014

Jerry Cornfield of the Everett Herald reports:

One Everett law enforcement group is getting its name erased from a television ad supporting Initiative 591 — and a second might soon seek to do the same.

. . .

The president of the Everett Police Management Association said Thursday that his group has not taken a stand on either ballot measure and it was “absolutely a surprise” to see its name in the pro-591 ad.

Read the full story here.

STATEWIDE DEBATE UNDERSCORES CLEAR CHOICE FOR WASHINGTON VOTERS: YES ON 594, NO ON 591

October 23, 2014

(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.

ICYMI: BACKGROUND CHECK STOPS FELON FROM GETTING PISTOL HE BOUGHT ONLINE

October 21, 2014

(Seattle, WA) – Today, KIRO7 reported the case of Michael Ahmed Hicks, a convicted felon who was arrested and charged after attempting to obtain a gun online from GrabAGun.com, a Texas website.

According to the report, Hicks, who was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a 2006 drug conviction, ordered the gun online and had it shipped to a Washington State federally-licensed firearms dealer. When Hicks went to the licensed dealer to pay for the weapon and collect it, the dealer conducted the background checks required on pistol sales in Washington State. These included the federal NICS check and local law enforcement checks, conducted in this case by the Seattle Police Department.

As KIRO7 reported:

When the Seattle Police Department’s Records Unit ran the background check, Hicks’ criminal history was revealed. Last week, Hicks was arrested before he could pose “grave danger to public safety,” according to the Seattle Police detective who worked the case.

“The safeguards put into place were followed by all the right people and as a result, a person who shouldn’t have a gun didn’t get it, and he’s now being charged with an additional felony for trying to do so,” Seattle Police spokesman Detective Drew Fowler said on Monday.

Under current Washington State law Hicks, or criminals like him, can evade this background check by obtaining a gun at a gun show or in an in-person sale arranged online, with no questions asked. A recent investigation by Everytown for Gun Safety found over 40,000 guns available online annually, nearly 10% of which could find their way into the hands of criminals. Initiative 594 closes a dangerous loophole in our law by applying the background check system that helped keep this gun out of Michael Hicks’ hands to all gun sales in our state.

KIRO: Convict buys gun online, lands behind bars before getting finger on trigger

October 21, 2014

KIRO reports:

Thirty-nine year old Michael Ahmed Hicks has been charged in King County Superior Court with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm after he bought a semi-automatic pistol online.

The Seattle man has been prohibited from possessing a firearm since a 2006 methamphetamine conviction. However, last month, according to court documents, Hicks was able to purchase a .380 ACP pistol from www.GrabAGun.com in Texas.

. . .

When the Seattle Police Department’s Records Unit ran the background check, Hicks’ criminal history was revealed.

Read the full story, and watch the report, here.

The Wenatchee World: Yes on I-594

October 20, 2014

In an editorial endorsing Initiative 594, the Wenatchee World writes:

Background checks are a sensible precaution when selling firearms. They are no cure for gun violence and mayhem, and no threat to the rights of legitimate gun owners, but it is possible they might keep some guns out of unwanted hands, namely away from convicted criminals and people with a certified mental illness.

. . .

Closing the so-called gun show loophole will make us safer, to some degree. That’s what Initiative 594 attempts, and if that is the case it deserves a yes vote.

. . .

To complicate matters voters will have to deal with Initiative 591, a diversion placed on the ballot by gun rights groups hoping to void I-594 or so legally scramble the situation that it will be impossible to sort out.

. . .

Vote no on I-591. Vote yes on I-594.

Read the full editorial here.

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Paid for by Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility PO Box 21712 Seattle, WA 98111.
Top five contributors: Nicolas Hanauer, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, Connie Ballmer, William Gates III, Melinda Gates