We all agree that violent criminals and other threats to society should not possess firearms. That’s why, in November 2014, Washington State voters overwhelmingly passed Initiative 594, making theirs the first state to close the background check loophole by a popular vote.
Prior to Initiative 594, criminals and other dangerous people were legally allowed to go to “private sellers” at gun shows, on the Internet, and elsewhere to buy guns with no background check and no questions asked. Thousands of guns were estimated to have been sold in Washington State each year online without a background check. Law enforcement agencies and public safety officials agree that this loophole promotes illegal gun trafficking and enables individuals with criminal intent to purchase firearms easily.
Today, the situation has changed significantly in Washington State. Since Initiative 594 took effect in December 2014, over 6,300 private sale background checks have occurred, and over 100 ineligible sales have been blocked. Those numbers grow every month.
Background Checks Make a Difference is an ongoing public education campaign to help spread the word about the importance of background checks in keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people, reducing violent crime, and saving lives in communities here in Washington and around the country.
Background Checks Make A Difference is grateful for the support of these national and local partners:
Faith Action Network
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund
Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle