Background Checks for All Gun Sales

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Mercedes Elizalde
CCF Political Strategy Committee Chair
YES on I-594!

A couple months ago, I was in Olympia with a group of affordable housing and homeless prevention advocates meeting with their legislator to discuss more comprehensive funding. While we were there, I recall seeing a lot of people. And I mean A LOT of people. The housing and homelessness advocates were nearly outnumbered by people who came to speak in support (and against) additional background checks for gun safety.

Currently, Washington state law requires people who are purchasing guns from licensed dealers to complete a background check. The requirement is very clear. People with a history of violent crime or severe mental illness are not able to buy a gun. Makes sense.

What doesn’t make sense is the loophole you could drive a semi-truck though. If someone, who for example has a history of domestic violence, decides they wants gun they only need to find someone else–anyone else including online sellers and dealers at gun shows–to sell them a gun. No background check required.
I-594 legislates what the majority of Washingtonians (and Americans in general) believe. This loophole is costing lives and it’s time to institute a background check for all gun sales.

The Children’s Campaign Fund endorses I-594. The Board believe this simple step will save lives and protect children from violence.

Children across Washington experience gun violence directly as victims. They are also exposed to long-lasting trauma when family members are victims of gun violence.

From 2007-11 in Washington, 2,903 people died from gun violence (source). Firearm deaths now outpace vehicular deaths (source). Just as we have worked to make cars safer, we must make our communities safe from gun violence.

We know background checks work. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has stopped over 2 million gun sales to people who are prohibited from possessing guns (source). Presently, those prohibited because of the NICS system are able to go online or to a gun show and get the weapon they are seeking.

But with I-594, we can close these loopholes.

Check out the facts and vote smart this November.

YES on I-594! And NO on I-591.

Yes on I-594 “This measure would apply the currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions.” – Source: I-594 website

No on I-591 “An act relating to protecting gun and other firearm rights.” – Source: I-595