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Opposing gun measures proposed for the ballot

SEATTLE — A group of gun rights advocates announced plans Thursday for a ballot initiative that would prohibit confiscation of firearms and would prevent Washington from adopting background checks that go beyond the federal standard.

“Our strategy is to protect gun rights,” said Alan Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation.

The effort is clearly a reaction to the gun control initiative that was announced a few months ago that seeks to implement universal background checks and close the “gun show loophole.”

Gottlieb’s initiative would tie the state’s background check program to the federal standard.  So, given that the feds don’t require checks at gun shows or with other private sales, then Washington state wouldn’t be able to do that either.

“If it’s not a national standard,” said Gottlieb, “people are going to go to Idaho and buy a gun. They are going to go to Oregon and buy a guy and bring it back anyway. The bottom line is that if it’s not a national standard, it really isn’t workable.”

Opponents argue it’s an attempt to hamstring the state when it comes to gun control.

“It’s a cynical effort, because they know that Congress is farther behind the people of Washington state in adopting these common sense protections,” said Christian Sinderman of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility.

The pro-gun initiative would also prohibit the state from confiscating any firearms without due process.  Leaders want to make sure that whatever laws are passed, whatever gun bans are approved, at the federal or local level, that no one has their firearms taken away.

“They are going with what they can try and get away with right now, but their ultimate goal is to confiscate firearms,” Gottlieb said. “We know that, that’s where the anti-gun rights movement is, so we’re protecting against that.”

Sinderman says that fear is unfounded.

“It’s a solution in search of a problem,” he said. “There is absolutely no risk of law-abiding people losing their firearms in Washington state or other places.”

The Alliance’s initiatives, he says, “is only about closing loopholes and background checks.”

With two gun initiatives likely to be on the 2014 ballot, Washingtonians are in for a very high-profile, very expensive and probably very confusing gun debate as these two efforts vie for votes.

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6 comments

  • adam

    We’ve heard it time and time again. Gun control will change little or nothing. Weapons being used in these crimes are usually stolen or illegally purchased. All gun control will do is limit the person who acquires them legally a criminal will still be able to purchase a gun in a back ally with no background check. Don’t waste the tax payers money on something that is only limit the good people. Instead why don’t we require everyone to go thru a gun safety course. Look at the places that have already put a law like that into effect and look at the crime rates. Someone isn’t gonna break into your house if they know you have a gin and know how to use it. Not to mention make it a state ran course charge 50 dollars for it and say by to some of the budget deficit. It’s a win win situation.

  • adam

    I apologize for misspellings in my earlier post. Unfortunately as we all know not all smart phones are that smart lol. Should read gun not gin.

  • Lickmy

    What Loophole? private gun owners getting together to swap and trade been going on for over 250 years and just how many deaths are traced back to a private sale? a lot less than the number of deaths by drunken illegals driving around, so wheres the balance and outrage there?