Guns Washington State Politics

Language settled for I-594: background checks for gun purchases

The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility announced today that a judge gave final approval to the language of their ballot initiative, I-594, which will establish background checks for gun purchases.

Gun rights groups had litigated to change the wording of the initiative to something more favorable.  The original proposed wording of the ballot initiative was

Initiative Measure No. 594 concerns background checks for gun sales and transfers.

This measure would apply the background-check requirements currently used for gun sales by licensed dealers to all gun sales and transfers, with specific exceptions, and require the checks be conducted through licensed dealers.

In a minor win for the gun rights people, the final language the Superior Court judge approved replaces the word “gun” (which apparently has negative connotations) with the word “firearm”:

Initiative Measure No. 594 concerns background checks on firearm sales and transfers.

This measure would apply currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exemptions.

As reported on July 10 on the Alliance’s facebook page,

Last week, a group of ideologues filed a lawsuit to change 594’s ballot title to make it more confusing and more partisan. Tomorrow is our day in court. Because 8 out 10 of us support background checks, the gun lobby needs to confuse voters to win. We are determined to stop them — and will be going toe-to-toe with their lawyers tomorrow afternoon to do just that.

Click here to sign the endorsement pledge for I-594.