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Politics Northwest

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

January 27, 2014 at 10:22 AM

Gabrielle Giffords to testify in Olympia on gun initiative

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will testify in Olympia Tuesday afternoon in favor of an initiative to expand background checks for gun buyers.

Giffords, a Democrat, survived being shot in the head at a public appearance in Tucson in January 2011. Six other people were killed and a dozen injured in the shooting rampage by a delusional man, Jared Lee Loughner. Since recovering, Giffords has become a national figure in the debate on stricter background checks for gun sales.

She’ll appear with her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, in support of Initiative 594, which would expand background checks to all gun sales in Washington, said Zach Silk, campaign manager for the I-594 effort.

The House Judiciary Committee plans a public hearing Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. to hear testimony on dueling gun measures.

In addition to I-594, lawmakers will consider Initiative 591 — the “Protect Our Gun Rights Act” — a measure backed by Second Amendment activists that would keep background checks mandatory only for licensed gun dealers.

Neither measure is likely to pass the Legislature, but both have received enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: gun background checks, Initiative 591, Initiative 594

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