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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

September 16, 2014 at 12:04 PM

I-594: Clearing up misperceptions about the gun initiative

Initiative 594 requiring background checks for gun sales is a good idea. In The Seattle Times article “Group: Study shows benefit of gun checks” [Local News, Sept. 12], Dave Workman speaks out against it with incorrect information. He said that “there’s no evidence that background checks would accomplish anything.” Yet, when Missouri rescinded its background check law, gun violence went up significantly.

He said that “many in the firearms community oppose [background checks].” According to The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, in a 2012 study, “74 percent of NRA members and 87 percent of non-NRA gun owners support requiring criminal background checks of anyone purchasing a gun.”

Workman is concerned that I-594 might be “a step toward gun registration.” There is absolutely nothing in I-594 about gun registration. The initiative would only require that all persons who wanted to purchase a gun would have to go through the same background checks.

The final claim is that “people who sell guns out of their trunks” won’t do background checks. If a person did not do the background check and the gun were later used in a crime, the seller would be liable. This would certainly make a person think twice before selling a gun without doing a background check.

Ted Coskey, Seattle

Comments | More in Gun control | Topics: background checks, gun control, gun rights

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