Washington State voters approved a measure giving the state one of the nation’s strictest gun-purchase background-check laws, the Seattle Times reports. Nearly 60 percent of voters backed I-594, which would extend background checks to private sales and transfers. The measure was winning in eight of the 10 largest counties. A competing measure, Initiative 591, which would bar the state from enacting any background checks more extensive than federal law, was rejected by 55 percent of voters in the initial count.
The background-check campaign, headed by the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, raised more than $10 million, including $3 million from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's advocacy group, Everytown for Gun Safety. But even as they toasted the passage of I-594, supporters were anticipating legal challenges by gun-rights advocates. John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said his group would help defend I-594 against any challenges.