Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating $1 million to support a Washington State ballot measure to expand background checks before purchasing guns. Initiative 594 will be voted on in Washington in November. Everytown Gun Safety group head John Feinblatt commented, “We are proud to support Yes on 594 campaign, which will keep Washington communities safer and support the 2nd Amendment rights by making sure that everyone has a background check when buying a gun.” Bloomberg is planning to give $50 million to Everytown Gun Safety.
The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility has received $7 million in donations, and issued a statement, “We are grateful that Everytown’s coalition of Washington mayors, moms and 45, 000 grassroots supporters is with us in the fight to pass this sensible measures.”
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Gun rights activists have their own piece of legislation, Initiative 591, which would prevent the state from taking away guns or doing background checks. The several pro-gun groups are raising less money, in the tens of thousands rather than millions, and argue that the reason is that those who support background checks belong to a wealthy, liberal elite. The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms chairman, Alan Gottlieb, said “It looks more like ‘Every Billionaire for Gun Control wants to buy this election. Voters should be very concerned that their rights are for sale.”