NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America today declared victory for gun sense with the passage of Initiative 1639, which will strengthen state gun laws by raising the age to purchase semiautomatic rifles to 21 and enhance the background check system for semiautomatic rifle purchasers, among other provisions. Everytown contributed more than $500,000 toward the passage of I-1639, including direct and in-kind contributions.
“Despite the NRA’s best efforts, the people of Washington just added another chapter to their long history of leading the nation on gun safety,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Everytown and our grassroots army of volunteers were proud to once again lock arms with Washington voters and gun violence prevention advocates on behalf of this comprehensive gun safety initiative.”
“I’m proud to see Washington continue to lead the way on gun safety,” said Kim Gatbunton, a volunteer leader with the Washington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America whose son Josh was shot and killed in 2008. “With the passage of Initiative 1639, my state has taken another step toward ensuring that no family has to experience the kind of tragedy my family experienced when Josh was shot and killed. It is in my son’s honor that I have given my time to advocate for common-sense gun laws, including this initiative.”
Washington State has a long history of support for gun safety, as voters closed the background check loophole by ballot measure in 2014 and enacted a Red Flag law by ballot measure in 2016. Everytown was a major backer of both those efforts.