Follow us:

Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

November 21, 2013 at 11:54 AM

Opponents of gun background checks submit signatures for initiative

OLYMPIA — Second Amendment activists submitted an estimated 340,000 signatures Thursday, likely enough to qualify their initiative to prevent Washington state from adopting universal background checks for gun sales.

The checks are currently required for sales by licensed dealers, but not for purchases from private sellers.

“This is a monumental effort to protect our gun rights,” said Alan Gottlieb, of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, before turning in the signatures for Initiative 591 at the Secretary of State’s elections office in Olympia.

He added that “background checks do not prevent crimes” because criminals do not subject themselves to them.

Phillip Shave of the Washington Arms Collectors and Bill Burris of the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor Association joined Gottlieb.

“I-591 will guarantee that Washington residents will not be subjected to ridiculously complicated, costly and ineffective new government intervention into private transaction,” Shave said, referring to the proposed Initiative 594, which would establish  background checks for all sales in Washington state.

Initiatives 591 and 594 are aimed to go before the 2014 Legislature and, if lawmakers don’t approve, to the November 2014 ballot.

Supporters of Initiative 594 submitted about 250,000 signatures last month. On Thursday, Initiative 594 spokesman Christian Sinderman said the measure’s supporters are “closing in” on 325,00 signatures.

Because of the possibility of duplicate or otherwise problematic signatures, the state recommends that initiative sponsors collect 325,000 signatures to be sure they have the required 246,000 valid signatures.

“Background checks are not a complete solution, but everything we can do to keep guns out of the hands of criminals is a step forward,” Sinderman said. “591 is a step backward.”

Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: Alan Gottlieb, Christian Sinderman, Initiative 591

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►