Debate Magazine

Washington State 250,000 Signatures for Gun Safety Initiative

Posted on the 10 October 2013 by Mikeb302000
Washington State 250,000 Signatures for Gun Safety Initiative
Ralph Fascitelli, president of Washington CeaseFire, a local advocacy group trying to reduce gun violence, takes the stage at Westlake Park for their "StandUP Washington" rally and march Sunday. The group marched down 4th Avenue to the Mural Amphitheater at the Seattle Center where local civic and religious leaders gave speeches in support of banning semi-automatic weapons and strengthening gun control laws.
The campaign to close the “gun show loophole” in Washington on Wednesday submitted 250,000 initiative signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office in Olympia.

Sponsors want 75,000 more, but Initiative 594 appears headed for what is likely to be a statewide vote in the 2014 election.  It will likely produce a showdown between the gun lobby and a clergy-inspired gun safety movement that arose after the assassination of 20 first graders in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school last December. “Today was a great day for the religious community of Washington:  As I delivered signatures at the Secretary of State’s office with Cheryl Stumbo, a gun-violence survivor, and other advocates, I thought back to the hundreds gathered for our candlelight march from St. Mark’s to St. James in early February,” said the Rev. Sandy Brown, senior minister at the Seattle First United Methodist Church. Stumbo is a survivor of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle shootings, and has become a public face in the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility campaign. Initiative 594 would require criminal background checks for online gun purchases and private transactions such as purchases at gun shows. The background checks would be conducted by federally licensed firearms dealers, who now conduct such checks for commercial sales.

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