After months of collection efforts in Washington state, supporters and opponents of expanded background checks for gun sales appear to have come up with about the same number of signatures — and it's more than enough to qualify both for the ballot, reports the Seattle Times. Supporters of Initiative 594, which would require the checks for all sales, have submitted 345,000 signatures.
Sponsors of Initiative 591, which would keep checks mandatory only for sales by licensed dealers, submitted 340,000 signatures in November and plan to turn in 5,000 more on today’s deadline. Just 246,000 valid ones are needed to qualify for the ballot. Both initiatives were filed last spring, after a proposal to establish universal background checks failed in the Legislature. In Washington state, it is rare to see two well-financed, proposed ballot measures related to one major issue. “Voters will clearly have a stark choice to make,” said Christian Sinderman of Initiative 594