Supporters of universal background checks for gun sales on Wednesday submitted most of the signatures they need to qualify for a 2014 statewide initiative.
Jewish Federation shooting victim Cheryl Stumbo and other Initiative 594 backers showed up in Olympia with an estimated 250,401 signatures on more than 15,000 petitions, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
While just 246,000 valid signatures are required for an initiative, the Secretary of State recommends that campaigns submit 325,000 to assure validation.
Initiative 594 supporters said they they plan to do that by the Jan. 3 deadline.
“We’re not declaring that we’ve reached our ultimate goal,” said spokesman Christian Sinderman. “We got to the first goal faster than we thought and we wanted to get them out of our hands and get back into the field and continue.”
The campaign got to the 250,000 hurdle through a combination of paid signature gatherers and an “unprecedented grass roots petition distribution effort,” according to a news release.
If Initiative 594 qualifies, it will first go to the state Legislature in 2014. If lawmakers don’t adopt the measure, it will go on the November 2014 ballot.
Second Amendment activists are collecting signatures for a 2014 initiative of their own, which would prevent the state from adopting a stricter background-check law than the national standard.