Topic: Alan Gottlieb
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November 21, 2013 at 11:54 AM
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.”
November 19, 2013 at 1:25 PM
Supporters of an initiative to prevent Washington state from adopting universal background checks for gun sales have collected 340,000 signatures — more than enough to qualify for the ballot in 2014, sponsors say.
Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Bellevue-based national Second Amendment Foundation, said supporters are planning to submit the signatures in Olympia on Thursday.
They’ll continue collecting signatures until the early January deadline to demonstrate support for the proposal, said Gottlieb, who added that nearly 900 volunteers have participated in the effort.
“I’m not surprised at this kind of response,” he said. “Gun owners have been under attack for more than a year now. And in politics, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”
Initiative 591 would prevent Washington state from adopting background-check laws stricter than the national standard, which requires the checks for sales by licensed dealers but not for purchases from private sellers.
The proposal was crafted in response to Initiative 594, also aimed at the 2014 ballot, which will seek to require background checks for all sales.
Supporters of Initiative 594 submitted about 250,000 signatures last month, and are planning to submit more by January.
About 250,000 valid signatures are needed to qualify an initiative, but the Secretary of State’s Office suggests that campaigns submit 325,000 to assure validation.
If the initiatives are validated, they will first go to the 2014 Legislature and, if not adopted there, to the 2014 ballot.
October 10, 2013 at 2:39 PM
A national Second Amendment group based in Bellevue has decided to sponsor “Guns Save Lives Day” on Dec. 14 — the anniversary of last year’s mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
The 650,000-member Second Amendment Foundation, which announced the event Thursday with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and DefendGunRights.com, has not yet decided what it will entail. But Alan Gottlieb, the president of the group, said the goal is to show “there’s a good side of guns.”
“People every single day use guns to save lives,” Gottlieb said. “We don’t think anybody should have been a victim at Sandy Hook, and we don’t think anybody should be a victim in the future.”
Gottlieb estimated that some 200 gun-rights groups from all 50 states would participate in the event.
“Quite frankly, we don’t want the gun prohibition lobby to own that day,” he said. “So we’re starting early.”
Critics blasted the event as disrespectful.
Cheryl Stumbo, a victim of the Seattle Jewish Federation shooting on July 28, 2006, said that if gun-rights groups tried to sponsor a similar event on July 28, it would feel like “a slap in the face.”
“It’s an attempt to blame victims, and it shouldn’t be tolerated,” said Stumbo, the sponsor of a 2014 initiative campaign to require background checks for all gun sales, not just those by licensed dealers.
Earlier this week, supporters of the initiative submitted 250,000 of the roughly 325,000 signatures required to get on the ballot.
Gottlieb is the main spokesman for a rival ballot measure, also proposed for 2014, that would prevent Washington state from adopting background-check laws that are more strict than the federal standard.
Asked about the potential for his “Guns Save Lives Day” to offend victims, he said that the groups “are not planning on doing anything that’s insensitive whatsoever.
“We know that our opponents are going to try to use that day to push their agenda,” he said. “We’re going to show the American people that there’s a good side of guns.”
July 15, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Washington state supporters of expanded background checks for gun sales state have won an early skirmish in a long battle with Second Amendment activists that’s expected to end with dueling initiatives on the November 2014 ballot.
The background-check supporters beat back two court challengers to the wording of what will appear on the ballot with their measure, Initiative 594, which would require the checks for almost all gun sales. Background checks currently are required only for sales by licensed firearm dealers.
Both challenges came from gun-rights supporters who felt the wording put the proposal in a positive light. They wanted the ballot title and summary to call the exceptions “limited” and note more prominently that not conducting a background check would be a crime.
Alan Gottlieb of the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation said he was disappointed in the Thurston County Superior Court ruling “because if you’re creating a new crime, voters should know that.”
Initiative supporters, naturally, were happier.
Spokesman Christian Sinderman argued that the challenges backfired because one of the only changes to the ballot title and summary made by Judge Chris Wickham clarified that the background checks look for criminal history and public-safety issues.
If the measure makes it to the ballot, the following will run with Initiative 594:
“This measure would apply currently used criminal and public safety background check requirements by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions.
“Current law requires criminal and public safety background checks before purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer. This measure would extend this requirement to most firearm purchases and transfers in Washington, with exceptions, including transfers within families, temporary transfers for self-defense and hunting, and antiques. Licensed dealers would conduct the background checks and could charge a fee. Violation of these requirements would be a crime.”
Second Amendment activists, meanwhile, are pursuing their own initiative, also aimed first at the 2014 Legislature and then, likely, the November 2014 ballot. The ballot wording of Initiative 591 was approved without a court fight. It is:
“This measure would prohibit government agencies from confiscating guns or other firearms from citizens without due process, or from requiring background checks on firearm recipients unless a uniform national standard is required.
“This measure would declare that it is unlawful for any government agency to confiscate guns or other firearms from citizens without due process, or to require background checks on the recipient of a firearm unless a uniform national standard is required.”
January 22, 2013 at 3:32 PM
A local gun-control advocacy group on Tuesday released a poll indicating support for new firearms restrictions — findings that opponents quickly dismissed as “meaningless and worthless.”
The poll of 600 state residents was conducted earlier this month by Alison Peters Consulting, which usually works with Democrats. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
The poll found that 76 percent of state residents support tighter gun laws.
Specifically, it found that 66 percent support banning so-called semiautomatic assault weapons, and 87 percent support requiring background checks for all firearm purchases, even from private dealers at gun shows.
Currently, the assault weapons are legal, and private dealers are exempted from required background checks.
Proposals addressing both issues are expected to be introduced in the Legislature this session, spurred in part by the mass shooting in Connecticut last month. But the measures are likely to face stiff resistance from lawmakers who favor gun rights, and legislative leaders have expressed pessimism about reaching agreement on new restrictions.
The board president for Washington Ceasefire, which sponsored the new poll, said the group will use it to push the Legislature to enact stricter laws.
The information will also be useful as the group weighs whether to run an initiative, said the board president, Ralph Fascitelli.
Gun rights advocates noted that in 1997 a gun-control initiative was on the ballot and Washington Ceasefire released polling showing it had support. But the measure, Initiative 676, only got about 30 percent of the vote.
“The problem with these polls is that the devil is always in the details of how the questions are asked,” said Alan Gottlieb of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. “It’s easy for a poll to say anything you want if you use emotional rhetoric.”
Gottlieb called the new poll “meaningless and worthless.”
Phil Watson, who works with several gun rights groups, said polls he has seen indicate much less support for new gun laws. But he declined to release those results, citing policy prohibiting him from releasing internal polling numbers.
National polls have produced varying results on similar questions. A CBS/New York Times poll released last week found that 54 percent of Americans favor stricter gun laws, while a Gallup poll also released last week found just 38 percent do.
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