“Preprogrammed robot,” “gun ban extremist,” “left-wing radical,” “closet Marxist.” This is how Curtis Stone describes supporters of Initiative 594 like me. He states I “engage in disinformation, propaganda and evasiveness.”
I would describe myself as a concerned citizen who believes in the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms, but who also agrees with the eight out of 10 Washingtonians who support universal background checks.
Initiative 594 is endorsed by the Washington State Public Health Association, the Faith Action Network, the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and dozens of other community organizations. A more complete list of supporters and a link to the complete text of the initiative can be found on the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility website at wagunresponsibility.org.
Licensed dealers in Washington are required to conduct a background check for firearms sales, to help ensure guns stay out of the hands of criminals.
I-594 simply extends these existing background checks to all gun sales. I have no objection to private gun ownership. I do however object to a private party selling a weapon to a convicted criminal, no questions asked, especially when a background check typically takes only 90 seconds.
A survey of prisoners who committed crimes with handguns found that nearly 80 percent of them got those guns through private transfers. When private sellers are required to complete a background check on a prospective buyer, these sales will be greatly reduced.
The rights of law-abiding gun owners will not be affected. They will still be able to buy the same guns they buy today after passing an instant background check — the same check they would have to pass if they bought a gun from a licensed dealer.
The federal government is legally prohibited from creating a registry of any kind. Background checks submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System are destroyed within 24 hours.
I-594 does not change this requirement. Background checks work — since enactment in 1998, over 2 million gun sales to people prohibited from possessing guns were stopped.
I-594 won’t stop all gun sales to criminals or the mentally ill, but it is a common-sense, simple step to help prevent illegal gun sales. Please support I-594 to help make our communities safer.