February 23, 2015 Press Releases
Initiative 594 Coalition Files Papers to Join Legal Defense of Background Check Law
Cheryl Stumbo, Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility & Everytown for Gun Safety for I-594 Join Attorney General in Defending Will of People of Washington
Initiative 594 Passed with Nearly 60% of the Vote in November 2014
(Seattle, Wash.) – Today, the coalition that helped pass Initiative 594 filed a Motion to Intervene as Defendants in a lawsuit challenging the Initiative, Northwest School of Safety v. Ferguson, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The Motion asks the court to allow Initiative 594’s citizen-sponsor, Cheryl Stumbo; theWashington Alliance for Gun Responsibility; and Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund for I-594 to intervene and defend the Initiative, given their role as leaders of the ballot campaign to pass Initiative 594. In addition, the parties filed an Answer to the Complaint filed by Alan Gottlieb and his fellow plaintiffs, who led the losing campaign to pass competing Initiative 591 and weaken Washington’s gun laws in 2014.
The filing comes in response to a federal lawsuit that has been described as an “uphill battle” by legal experts and has been condemned for weakening laws that keep guns out of dangerous hands. The court proceedings also come amid clear evidence that Initiative 594 is working well for both law enforcement and responsible gun owners. Initiative 594’s background check requirements have already helped keep guns out of dangerous hands, and the checks are being integrated seamlessly at gun shows,online, and at other vendors. And as even Initiative 594’s challengers acknowledged in their legal complaint, there is no evidence of responsible gun owners experiencing legal jeopardy in the months since Initiative 594 was passed.
Cheryl Stumbo, a gun violence survivor who was shot in the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle shooting, was the citizen-sponsor of Initiative 594. The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility is a coalition of Washington citizens and entities working together to find solutions to reduce gun violence, and the driving force behind Initiative 594. Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund for I-594 is a registered Washington State ballot committee formed to support passage of Initiative 594 in order to provide over 45,000 grassroots members and 27 mayors an avenue to help pass the Initiative. The three joined together to help close Washington State’s background check loophole by passing Initiative 594. Washington State became the 17th state to require background checks on all gun sales when it passed with 59% of the vote on November 4th, 2014.
“The people of Washington spoke very clearly when they overwhelmingly passed Initiative 594, and we are proud to defend their will against this frivolous gun lobby lawsuit to gut Washington State’s gun laws,” said Cheryl Stumbo. “The same individuals who failed to weaken our state’s gun laws in last year’s election are now using the court system to do exactly that. We will not allow them to roll back our progress by making it easier for criminals to obtain guns, and we look forward to working side-by-side with the Office of the Attorney General and the vast majority of Washingtonians who voted to close the background check loophole, prevent gun violence and save lives.”
The case is Northwest School of Safety et. al. v. Bob Ferguson, No. CV-06026-BHS in the federal District Court for the Western District of Washington.
About The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility
The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility is a coalition of concerned citizens and organizations working together to forge commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence. We support the Second Amendment right of citizens to own guns. We also believe with that right comes basic responsibilities. As a society we are responsible for keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and promoting solutions that reduce gun violence. Learn more atwww.wagunresponsibility.org and follow us at @YesOn594.
About Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund for I-594.
Everytown for I-594 is a registered Washington State ballot committee formed to support passage of I-594. Everytown for I-594 was established in July, 2014 by Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, which fights for public safety measures that both respect the Second Amendment and improve public safety. Everytown for I-594 was formed in order to provide over 45,000 grassroots supporters and 27 mayors in Washington State an avenue to help pass I-594 and save lives by closing the background check loophole. Learn more atwww.everytown.org and follow us @Everytown.