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Signatures Submitted for Dueling Gun Measures in Wash.

Austin Jenkins
Alan Gottlieb of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms poses with boxes of petitions for Initiative 591, a gun rights initiative.

Washington voters can expect dueling gun-related measures on next fall’s ballot. Sponsors of a gun rights initiative submitted nearly 350,000 signatures Thursday. 

Thirteen boxes labeled “Save Your Gun: Yes on 591” were loaded onto a cart and trucked into the Washington Secretary of State’s Office. Initiative 591 would prohibit the state from confiscating a gun without due process. It would also bar state background checks that go beyond federal standards.

Alan Gottlieb with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms says I-591 is a countermeasure to Initiative 594, the universal background check requirement.

“We think the voters are really, really smart and they deserve a choice and we’re giving them a choice,” Gottlieb said. “They can see a legitimate, uniform national background check-type system that could work or that we could go to in the future versus something that’s very draconian that will not work.”

Just last month, supporters of a universal background check measure submitted their signatures. They say they’re simply trying to close loopholes in current law.

Both measures would first go to the Legislature. If lawmakers don’t act, they will end up on the fall 2014 ballot. 

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.