Law enforcement part of debate over gun measures

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Associated Press

Posted on August 30, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Updated Saturday, Aug 30 at 7:00 AM

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Whether or not Washington state should expand background checks on gun sales and transfers has divided support within the law enforcement community, with some organizations choosing to not weigh in at all on two competing measures on the November ballot.

Initiative 594 is seeking universal background checks that would include sales from gun shows and private transactions, including most gifts and loans.

Initiative 591 would prevent any such expansion from occurring, prohibiting government agencies from conducting any checks beyond the national standard, which requires the checks for sales or transfers by licensed dealers but not for purchases from private sellers.

The executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, which is remaining neutral on both measures, says that the divide in law enforcement mirrors the varying individual opinions across the country around laws pertaining to firearms.

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