SEATTLE – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today declared victory in passing Initiative 1491, Washington state’s Extreme Risk Protection Order measure, with 71 percent of the vote. Similar to legislation already on the books in California, Connecticut and Indiana, the measure will empower law enforcement and family members to petition a court to temporarily suspend a person’s access to guns if the person poses a danger to themselves or others.
This is the second time that Everytown and Moms Demand Action have partnered with the Alliance for Gun Responsibility to strengthen common-sense gun laws at the ballot in Washington after the legislature continually failed to pass gun safety legislation in the statehouse. In 2014, Everytown and Moms Demand Action worked with the Alliance to lead the winning campaign for I-594, Washington state’s background check ballot measure that won with nearly 60 percent of the vote. Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund was the largest donor to the I-594 campaign.
This election cycle, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund contributed $550,000 to the I-1491 campaign, making it the the second largest donor to the effort, and the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action played a critical role in on-the-ground efforts to get the initiative on the ballot and educate voters about the policy. Volunteers with Washington Moms Demand Action collected more than 10,000 signatures in the signature drive to get I-1491 on the ballot and leading up to the election, volunteers made calls to Washington voters to help get out the vote in support of I-1491.
“Washington once again spoke loud and clear and passed another gun safety initiative tonight,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “By knocking on doors, phone-banking, and simply talking to their neighbors, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility and Washington’s Moms Demand Action chapter successfully passed another ballot measure, with overwhelming support, that will help save lives. Our leaders in DC can learn a lot from the other Washington. The American people want common sense on guns, and when they get the chance, they vote yes on safety.”
“This election season, Washington Moms Demand Action made talking to our neighbors and getting out the vote for I-1491 our top priority because the safety of our families was on the line,” said Erin Cizmas, a volunteer with the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We’re proud of our fellow Washingtonians for making their voices heard at the ballot box. The passage of I-1491 is another step forward in the gun violence prevention movement and we’re proud to serve as an example for what happens when everyday Americans fight to put public safety ahead of gun lobby priorities.”
“When I spoke to voters about I-1491 this election cycle, I explained that this initiative is a tool to help prevent shootings – something I wish had been in place before my niece Veronika was senselessly shot and killed in Isla Vista,” said Jane Weiss, a member of the Everytown Survivor Network whose niece Veronika Weiss was shot and killed in the May 2014 shooting in Isla Vista. “I’m proud to say that my neighbors in Washington voted yes on I-1491 and the passage of this initiative will help prevent other families from feeling the heartbreak that my family, and too many others, have felt because of gun violence. Our state has taken another step toward protecting the lives of Washingtonians and the passage of I-1491 is an example of what voters can accomplish when we use our voices and our votes.”