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Politics Northwest

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

November 4, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Tougher gun-purchase background checks win handily

Eileen Bennhoff, front, with Moms Demand Action, cheers what  I-594 supporters believe is a statewide victory for gun background checks. (Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

Eileen Bennhoff, front, with Moms Demand Action, cheers what I-594 supporters believe is a statewide victory for gun background checks. (Photo by Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

Voters in Washington state are approving Initiative 594, which would create  one of the nation’s toughest background checks for gun purchases.

In Tuesday’s returns, I-594 was being supported by nearly 60 percent of voters, winning handily in eight of the 10 largest counties.

The initiative would extend background checks to purchases made online and at gun shows. Such checks are now required only when buying from licensed dealers.

I-591, a competing measure sponsored by gun-rights groups that calls for barring background checks that go beyond the federal standard, was losing statewide in Tuesday’s returns, with 56 percent of voters rejecting it.

The issue of gun background checks made for an expensive and emotional campaign. Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer, Nick Hanauer and others poured millions into the pro-background check-campaign. The campaign also drew appearances from victims of gun violence, such as former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s gun-violence prevention group joined the effort.

Tuesday night’s election results can be seen here.

Related:

Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: background checks, i-591, i-594

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