Washington State Likely Going to be Forced to Vote on “Universal Background Check” Initiative in 2014
It looks like Washington is moving towards at least having a vote on adopting a new strict, background check law, which would require background checks for all firearms transfers in the state. Only antique guns transferred among family would be exempt.
Backers of the initiative turned in over 250,000 signatures to the Secretary of State this week. That is shy of the recommended number needed to force a ballot initiative, but the effort has until January to collect the remaining signatures.
If enough signatures are gathered, the legislature will be forced to vote on the issue ahead of the 2014 elections. If it fails in the legislature it will be placed on the state’s ballots for a popular vote.
Legislatures likely won’t support the bill, which they already voted down last year. This is most likely especially true since two state lawmakers in Colorado were recalled in September for supporting a similar law and a third state senator is in the process of defending her seat from recall.
According to the Washington Post,
Legislation to expand background checks failed to pass the state House earlier this year, despite lobbying from former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and Gov. Jay Inslee (D). There’s no indication that any legislators have changed their minds, and Sinderman acknowledged the tough path ahead.
“We are realistic that it will be difficult to pass in Olympia, and if we do go to the ballot we’re confident that we can prevail,” he said.
Washington overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure in 1997 to require trigger locks on all guns, let’s see if they do the same thing next year.