Everytown for Gun Safety, the nation’s largest gun safety advocacy organization, is funneling $1 million into a Washington State campaign to pass a ballot initiative for stronger background checks.
This is the second million-dollar investment the group has invested in the Washington State race to pass Initiative 594, which would mandate background checks for buyers at state gun shows, online and among individuals besides immediate family members.
John Feinblatt, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety, said Washington State is Ground Zero for gun safety measures in 2014.
“It’s the only place in the country where voters will have an up-or-down vote on background checks, which we’ve been fighting for in DC and states across the country. I-594 also represents new ground in the fight for this crime-reducing and life-saving public safety measure – taking it straight to the voters,” Feinblatt said.
A spokesperson for Everytown said the investment will go towards TV ads, mail and get-out-the-vote efforts.
Feinblatt's group is the successor to former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns and the women’s organization Moms Demand Action. Everytown also has more than 38,000 donors nationwide, according to a spokesperson.
Everytown noted the National Rifle Association's involvement in the race, stating “The National Rifle Association is working to defeat I-594 and recently released videos filled with false claims about background checks.”
There is a second measure, I-591, on the ballot which would bar additional background check measures without there being a national standard in place.
Advocates for I-591 in Washington State have complained that the NRA hasn’t done or spent enough in favor of I-591, although they’ve spent $200,000 in the fight against I-594.