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

October 13, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Seattle City Council and former GOP governor endorse I-594

It’s been a busy Monday for Initiative 594, the measure on the November ballot to expand gun purchase background checks to private sales and transfers. In the morning we wrote about the new poll suggesting that support for I-594 is down from its summertime high, but still fairly strong.

And in the afternoon, the I-594 campaign added more endorsements to its list: the Seattle City Council and former Republican Gov. Dan Evans and his wife, Nancy.

“When I was governor of Washington, people came together to support common-sense policies, and that’s exactly what Initiative 594 is,” Evans said in a statement. “Everyone in our society will be safer when it’s harder for criminals to obtain guns and that’s just what 594 will do.”

It’s at least the second time this year the former three-term governor has waded back into public policy. Evans this summer joined Washington’s other living governors in asking the state Supreme Court to hold off on potentially punishing lawmakers for not fully funding education until after next year’s legislative session.

Also Monday, the Seattle City Council voted to endorse I-594, which City Hall reporter Dan Beekman confirmed.

When asked about the endorsements, I-594 opponent Alan Gottlieb dismissed them.

“No surprise there,” Gottlieb wrote in an email, adding that the endorsers, “have been extremely anti-gun rights.”

Opponents to I-594, like Gottlieb, argue it would criminalize ordinary gun transfers, such as people handing off guns at a firearms safety class or while shooting in a backyard. Gottlieb is a key organizer of a competing measure, I-591, that would restrict Washington state from passing background check laws beyond what the federal government requires and would declare that guns cannot be seized without due process.

Comments | More in 2014 elections, Gun initiative, Seattle City Council | Topics: Alan Gottlieb, dan evans, i-591

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