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

January 31, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Second of dueling gun initiatives certified by Secretary of State

Initiatives for and against additional gun restrictions have officially been certified, setting up a near-certain November showdown.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman announced Friday that Initiative 591 had officially qualified as an initiative to the Legislature, joining Initiative 594, which got the formal OK last week.

Initiative 591 would prohibit any confiscation of guns without due process and prevent Washington state from adopting any gun background-check standards stricter than federal law

.Initiative 594 would establish a statewide universal background-check system, requiring the checks for all transfers. They are now only required for sales by licensed firearm dealers.

As initiatives to the Legislature, either or both of the measures could be approved by lawmakers this session. And both measures got hearings in the state House and Senate this week.

But legislative Republicans and Democrats agree the issue is best left to the voters.

The campaign is certain to draw nationwide attention.

The tally by the Secretary of State’s Office also provided a final count of the signature-gathering efforts of both sides:

Supporters of Initiative 591 turned in more signatures —  349,860 to 346,834 — despite Initiative 594 submitting more petition sheets — 25,161 to 19,749.

Initiative 591 had a higher rate of duplicate signatures and signatures by people who are not registered to vote in Washington state — about 18 percent to the 11 percent for Initiative 594, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Comments | More in Gun initiative | Topics: gun control, Initiative 591, Initiative 594


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