Initiatives could allow voters to decide gun control issues

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by AMY MORENO / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on June 23, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 23 at 4:47 PM

Gun control legislation has stalled on both the state and federal level but the issue is an important one for many in Western Washington.

Now competing initiatives could be heading to the ballot and activists say if lawmakers aren't willing to act, they will.

At the Washington Arms and Collectors Gun Show in Puyallup they were collecting signatures for Initiative 591. 

“It protects people from having their guns confiscated,” supporter Alan Gottlieb explained.  “It says any background check has to be in-line with the national uniform standard.”

Some in this group say it's much needed “it's got to be something that protects safety and not a knee-jerk reaction to something happening somewhere else in the country.”

But in a Seattle Park, the other side is also finding support.  A group from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America passed out information and buttons on Friday.

They were encouraging parents to talk with other parents about guns in their homes, but say they’ll be holding more things like this to support initiative 594.  I-594 would expand background checks to include private sales and gun shows.

“It makes sense to me,” Lori Pender said.  “If we're going to require it for federally licensed dealers to do, why would we not require it for everyone to do?”

With lawmakers unable to get traction on these issues, both sides say they've been forced to take matters into their own hands, ultimately allowing voters to make the final decision on election day.
 
Supporters of I-591 must collect about 250,000 valid signatures to make it an to the Legislature.  It could ultimately end up on the November 2014 ballot along with I-594.
 

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