BREAKING: Bill Gates Donates $1 Million to Gun Control Campaign
Bill Gates and his wife Melinda have donated a total of $1 million to a campaign attempting to get Initiative 594 passed in Washington State.
Initiative 594 is a “universal background check” initiative that would require background checks on private gun sales. Currently in Washington State, as in most states in the country, no background check is required when a gun transaction occurs between two individuals.
The donation was made to The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a group that is seeking to campaign heavily in order to see the initiative pass.
So far, the group has raised just over $6 million, with the majority of donations being made by multi-millionaires and billionaires including Bill and Melinda Gates, Microsoft’s former CEO Steve Balmer (who just bought the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion), entrepreneur Nick Hanauer, Seattle multi-millionaire Ann P. Wyckoff, Microsoft’s former president Jon Shirley and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Michael Bloomberg also indirectly donated $30,000 through his Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization. Those individuals account for $3.61 million in donations to the campaign according to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission. Only $54,392.19 of the group’s donations are considered “small contributions”.
On the other hand, the opposition to the initiative, Protect Our Gun Rights, has raised a little over a million dollars, mostly off small, personal donations of less than $1,000.
However, Protect Our Gun Rights is not directly opposing I594. Instead, they are throwing their support behind a different initiative, I591.
I591 would prevent any new state gun control law from being passed that is not already part of federal law. This means that if I591 passes, it would make I594 useless.
Republican and conservative independents tend to have much higher turnouts during midterm elections, so it will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out. We’ll be keeping a close on Washington in the coming months.