Competing gun-related initiatives on Wash. ballot

An undated photo of a person holding a firearm at a gun show. (KOIN 6)
An undated photo of a person holding a firearm at a gun show. (KOIN 6)

SEATTLE (KOIN 6) — Washington state voters have some big decision to make come November with two competing gun-related initiatives on the ballot.

Portland Trail Blazers owner and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is the latest in a string of big names to donate money to an effort to expand background checks on gun sales in Washington.

Supporters of Initiative 594, which would require background checks for all gun sales and transfers in the state, including gun shows and private sales, have already raised more than $3.4 million.

Citizen sponsor Cheryl Stumbo was shot inside the Jewish Federation in Seattle eight years ago.

“[Initiative 594 is] important because it’s going to reduce crime and save lives,” said Stumbo.

Meanwhile, Initiative 591 would prevent the state from adopting background check laws that go beyond national standards, which require the checks for sales by licensed dealers but not for purchases from private sellers.

Support money for this rivaling initiative is around $1 million with Washington Arms Collectors giving $850,000 and $17,500 coming from the NRA Washingtonians Opposed to I-594.

One obvious question though: what happens if voters pass both gun-related ballot measures in November?

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, the initiatives would likely go to the courts for resolution.

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