Supporters of Initiative 591, the common-sense background check measure that also prohibits government gun confiscation, will deliver their first batch of petitions bearing approximately 340,000 signatures this Thursday, Nov. 21, to the Secretary of State’s office in Olympia.
I-591 is backed by a coalition of gun collectors, recreational shooters, sportsmen and law enforcement professionals, under the Protect Our Gun Rights umbrella organization.
“While signatures are still coming in,” noted Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, “we have reached our first major goal and it is now time to submit the petitions we have.”
Gottlieb will be joined by representatives from the Washington Arms Collectors, Hunters Heritage Council, Washington State Rifle & Pistol Association and Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association, and grassroots activists who, as part of the Protect Our Gun Rights coalition, made this possible.
“This has truly been a grassroots endeavor,” Gottlieb said. “We’ve conducted our signature drive for about half to two-thirds of the amount raised and spent by supporters of a Draconian 15-page gun control measure that, under the guise of background checks, will create a costly bureaucratic and grossly unfair process that includes an unfunded mandate.
“We believe voters are smart, and deserve a choice,” he added. “That’s why there is widespread support for our initiative across the state.”
He stressed that I-591 is not aimed at eliminating background checks, which are required by federal law for retail purchases, but to assure that such checks comply with a uniform national standard. I-591 also prohibits government confiscation of firearms without due process.
“Gun prohibitionists have been waging a war of disinformation and semantics,” Gottlieb observed. “They would have the public believing that there currently are no background checks, and that we must set up special requirements in Washington State, which is nonsense. We have federal and state checks in place, and we are going to protect those procedures with I-591.”