May 21, 2018 Press Releases

Hundreds of Washingtonians Gathered to Rally Behind Gun Violence Prevention Efforts in Washington, Including Passing Initiative 1639 in 2018

Largest Gun Responsibility Event of the Year Raises Nearly $3 Million For Statewide Gun Violence Prevention Efforts; I-1639 would raise purchase age, require enhanced background checks and improve accountability for assault weapon violence

Seattle, WA – Over 1,000 students, civic leaders and concerned voters convened today in support of ballot initiative 1639, Safe Schools, Safe Communities, and other gun violence prevention efforts in Washington state. Hundreds of donors, from small contributors to prominent leaders including Paul G. Allen and Nick Hanauer, helped raise nearly $3 million, with the average gift of $49.

“Too many people have lost their lives to gun violence; too many families, children and communities are rattled to the core,” said Renée Hopkins, CEO of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility. “The shootings over the past year in Santa Fe, Parkland, Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas, Mukilteo, Freeman High School in Spokane and so many others just show how far we have to go. But with the rising support from the youth of our nation and gun violence being put in the conversation of more Americans; we know that we are closer to a society of gun responsibility than ever before.”

The luncheon comes one month after the Alliance announced Initiative I-1639. The proposed measure will address root causes of recent tragedies by raising the purchase age of semi-automatic rifles to 21; creating an enhanced background check system and waiting period similar to what is required for handguns; requiring completion of a firearm safety training course; and creating standards for secure storage to prevent guns from falling into dangerous hands.

“Initiative 1639 is a reasonable and necessary measure that will improve the safety of our schools and our communities, which is why I have contributed a million dollars to the campaign,” said Allen. “I hope people throughout the state will support the campaign, so that we can qualify and pass this important initiative into law.”

“Since we announced the ballot initiative last month, we have been overwhelmed by the positive response from leaders throughout the state, from students and grandmothers, to community leaders like Paul Allen and others,” said Hopkins. “We’re hard at work gearing up for a highly-visible campaign over the next several weeks. We already have a broad coalition of volunteers, partner organizations and community leaders throughout the state who strongly support this policy and are ready to hit the ground with petitions.”

The Alliance has run two successful ballot initiatives in the past, which established Universal Background Checks in 2014 and Extreme Risk Protection Orders in 2016. Both initiatives passed with an overwhelming majority by Washington voters, 59 percent and 69 percent, respectively.

To learn more about Safe Schools, Safe Communities, visit:


About the Alliance for Gun Responsibility

The Alliance for Gun Responsibility works to end the gun violence crisis in our community and to promote a culture of gun ownership that balances rights with responsibilities. Through collaboration with experts, civic leaders, and citizens, we work to find evidenced-based solutions to the crisis of gun violence in our community. We create innovative policy, advocate for changes in laws, and promote community education to reduce gun violence. Learn more at and follow us at @WAGunResponsib.