On Tuesday, voters in Washington state approved Initiative 594, which will expand background checks for firearm purchases and close “the gun show loophole.” Background checks will now be required at gun shows, as well as in online sales.
The measure passed with sixty percent of the vote. I-591, meanwhile, was rejected by over fifty-four percent of voters, according to early returns. That initiative would have prohibited background checks on gun sales unless required by federal law.
Gun violence prevention groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Americans for Responsible Solutions backed I-594, along with Bill and Melinda Gates, Steve and Connie Ballmer, and Seattle-based entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Everytown for Gun Safety’s president, John Feinblatt, said in a statement that “when it comes to guns, the only Washington that mattered this election was Washington state, and the victory for I-594, the background check ballot initiative there, proved the polls right—when Americans vote on public safety measures to prevent gun violence, gun safety wins.”