Frustrated by Lawmakers, WA Advocates Will Take Gun Measures to Ballot


Frustrated by failure with state and national lawmakers, local gun-control advocates are turning to the voters. A coalition of religious leaders, elected officials and activists announced Monday in Seattle that they plan to gather signatures this summer for a 2014 ballot initiative to require background checks for all firearm sales, not just purchases from licensed dealers as in current law, reports the Seattle Times.

The initiative, Washington state's first gun-related ballot measure since 1997, signals a new strategy for advocates who have focused on legislative efforts since last year's mass shootings at Café Racer in Seattle and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. A spokesman for the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which will run the campaign, said organizers chose 2014 over 2013 to give the fledging group more time to build its coalition and coordinate with well-funded national groups. The spokesman said gun-related measures may be on the ballot in several states in November 2014.

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