Gun background check campaigns already preparing for 2014

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by JOHN LANGELER / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 7:18 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 7:40 AM

SEATTLE, Wash. -- All Initiative 591 and Initiative 594 share is the issue they will address on next year's ballot; gun background checks. Beyond that, the dueling measures come from completely different viewpoints. However, they likely will make the 2014 initiative campaign season just as expensive and contentious as the one that ended last week.

"We're expecting a fight," said Cheryl Stumbo with Yes on 594, "40 percent of the guns bought in our state are bought without background checks, legally."

Stumbo was shot and injured in the 2006 mass shooting at Seattle's Jewish Federation. She carries a portfolio with her everyday that belonged to her co-worker that died in the attack, Pamela Waechter.

"[He] Took her life, frivously. That's the kind of thing that has to stop," she said.

The campaign she sponsors is being challenged by another measure, Initiative 591. It would keep Washington from imposing any stricter background checks than the federal government already has.

"I-594 is worse than anything the legislature even considered," said Alan Gottlieb with Protect Our Gun Rights. "Background checks really don't stop those crazy mass shooters to begin with."

Both campaigns have already raised significant money. The I-594 campaign submitted its signatures to the Secretary of State's office earlier in the year. Gottlieb said Monday I-591 signatures would be presented in Olympia later in the month.

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