Washington state's dueling gun initiatives launched their opposing campaigns this week, days after the legislature's adjournment ensured that voters this year will get to weigh in on gun laws for the first time since 1997, the Seattle Times reports. “The campaign begins today,” declared the Rev. Sandy Brown yesterday at a kickoff featuring faith leaders, local prosecutors, gun-violence survivors and other supporters of Initiative 594, which would extend background-check requirements to private firearm transfers.
Backers of Initiative 591, which would prevent the state from expanding background-check requirements and reiterate that government agencies cannot confiscate firearms without due process, launched more quietly by circulating a fundraising email Wednesday. “We're going to hold our ammunition, so to speak, until we're closer to Election Day,” said sponsor Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation. “We're marshaling our forces for Election Day.” Both sides acknowledged that the fight in advance of the Nov. 4 election is likely to be expensive.