Michael Bloomberg, jefe of Everytown for Gun Safety (courtesy nydailynews.com)

Washington State is ground zero in gun control advocates’ campaign to “expand” mandatory government background checks to all firearms purchases and transfers (including gun shows and family gifts). Come November, Evergreen State voters will either OK or torpedo Initiative 594. Quite how this increased government surveillance would reduce firearms-related crime is anybody’s guess. It certainly hasn’t had any measurable impact in Massachusetts or California. Regardless, billionaire Steve Ballmer’s donated $600,000. Bill Gates has chipped in $1m to the pro-Initiative 594 campaign. Not be outdone, billionaire ballistic bully boy Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety has also ante’d up a cool mil. seattletimes.com reports that the group spending the money is  . . .

The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which has now raised about $7 million total. [They] issued a statement that read, in part: “We are grateful that Everytown’s coalition of Washington mayors, moms and 45,000 grassroots supporters is with us in the fight to pass this sensible measure.”

On the other side of the battle . . .

Opponents of I-594 have raised considerably less money so far. A National Rifle Association (NRA) independent-expenditure group received about $25,000 from its parent organization, according to state campaign-finance records. Another group, Washington Citizens Against Regulatory Excess, has received $63,000 in funding, almost all of that from the Citizens Committee.

Up to now now, gun control advocates have been moaning about the NRA’s war chest, suggesting that the organization has been outspending opponents in political battles in a [successful] effort to buy support for its “extremist” position on gun laws. Clearly, that’s not the case here. So . . .

Can the antis’ big bucks convince Washington Staters to invite the government into private firearms sales, creating a de facto registration scheme, with all the slippery slope confiscation potential that implies? We shall see. If Stevie, Billy and Bloomie’s bucks fail at the final furlong, victory will be extremely sweet. If they succeed, the antis’ will be emboldened and energized. Watch this space.

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99 Responses to Bloomberg Gives $1m to WA Expanded Background Check Ballot Measure

    • They only need to win once, to get full retard, libtard in your face MSM coverage, we need to win every single time to shut them up.

      You have better hope that the voters outside of the brainwashed cities outnumber those in the cities for this to win.

      • That is the great think about pot being legal, all the morons who vote for leftist get high and forget to vote…

        • Hey, its fun to paint with a universal brush isnt it? Kind of an odd thing as we HATE when the antis do it to us….

        • WA resident here… I don’t “vote leftist”, and I supported the state’s legalization of pot. It’s a huge waste of police and judicial manpower to prosecute pot users.

        • Jeff, you forgot to mention the waste in prisons and guards, and the waste of victims time/lives. The whole war on drugs is simply stupid, hopefully pot in a few states will expand to all drugs in all states, and we can finally put this long national nightmare behind us.

        • I’m with Jeff. I voted for legalized pot and gay marriage, even though I have no personal interest in either. And I plan to vote for 591 and against 594.
          I also live in one of the “brainwashed” cities: Bellevue, which apparently has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the US (mostly CoD-featured guns owned by computer geeks).

    • Sadly, I believe we are going to lose this one. It will be overturned in the courts but it’s not going to be pretty.

      This measure is extremely poorly-written and will increase the crime rate – as anyone who has-in-the-past legally purchased a gun in a private sale is now guilty of a misdemeanor. All this bill does is make more criminals. It doesn’t make anyone safer.

      • I think at least part will be overturned.
        As written, if Richard In WA comes over to my place, and I hand him a gun, so he can see if he wants to buy it before we go to the FFL to process the paperwork, we just illegally transferred a firearm.
        As written, If Richard and I go to one of the outdoor ranges around here and I hand him a gun to shoot, we just illegally transferred a firearm.

        • “As written, If Richard and I go to one of the outdoor ranges around here and I hand him a gun to shoot, we just illegally transferred a firearm.”

          Correct, and both a guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If said person hands it back, class 3 felony. Both of you.

          In addition to “gun control” this is about voting rights. A class 3 felon loses the right to vote as well as to own guns. You will also likely lose your job, mat never get a “good” job again, will have credit issues, etc. This list of evils on this go waaaaay beyond just guns.

          They couldn’t manage to change the Constitution, so they’re buying an end-run.

    • ” I love it when they waste their money.”

      But is it a waste? The potential payoff is HUGE. Also, I-594 is currently projected to pass with 73%. I-591? I don’t know. The MSM is gushingly giving column inches to I-594, and calling I-591 a “blocking measure” to I-594. They get free air time, we have to pay…that is IF they accept the ads.

      I did some math this morning. Bloomberg has committed $50m to eliminate your 2A rights. Here’s how little $50m means to him: I currently make an obscenely low % interest at my bank. .75%

      Bloomberg did not get rich with investments earning .75% BUT…$33b x 0.0075 = $247,500,000 would be the annual interest in my checking account. Bloomberg has committed .4% (0.004%) of the INTEREST he would make in one year at .0075%.

      I have sent $200 to the Second Amendment Foundation to help with I-591. That’s what I could afford.

      The amount of money Bloomberg has is effectively infinite. If I-594 passes here, its clone will pass elsewhere. And then they will spend their “pennies” on something else they want.

      This is HUGE. This is truly important, not just from a gun POV, and not just in WA state. If you can afford it, please donate to the cause. Send the cost of a box of bullets, or a day at the range.

      http://wagunrights.org/donate/

  1. Opponents should be demonizing the out-of-state money, the same way lefties do when they run into this problem. Make sure the Billionaires own the pro-law position lock, stock and barrel (ha!, gun-centric expression), and then ask the residents if they are okay with being controlled like puppets by out-of-state billionaires.

    • Now that is a great idea, take it one step further and use Alinsky tactics against these leftist billionaires. Call them out for having armed bodyguards while trying to ban private gun ownership. Show pictures of Bloomberg`s and Gate`s armed security in media ads.

    • The positive is that Bloomberg is disliked across the political spectrum. I’ve already read several comments on Seattle Times’ articles about Bloomberg’s donations to 594, where the commenter is reconsidering their opinion on 594 now that Bloomberg is involved.

    • Yeah, the problem with that is that Steve Ballmer, Paul Allen, and Bill Gates are in for a total of about $2.6M. All are local. Throw in the other prominent local donors and I think you have at least $5m of the $7m that has been donated. Frankly Bloomberg’s money doesn’t mean anything at this point. The other side already has a blank check.

  2. As been evidenced by many elections, money does not matter provided you have a committed base. Gun owners need to get out to vote and if they have to, take someone along with them to also vote. All the money in the world will not mean a think if gun owner get involved.

    That said, the number of gun owners not registered to vote is very sad. I know there are some gun ranges across the country that require you to have registered to vote simply to be a member the range. This may be extreme, but something is needed to get gun owner out to the polls. Do not understand why so many do not vote.

      • In the meaningless Presidential election, they’re right.

        Local stuff like this is where every vote DOES count.

    • We don’t have any major offices (president, governor, senators) up for election this year, so turn out will likely be lower than normal. If gun owners overcome their apathy better than the rest of the population, then we should have a good chance.

      And remember, this is the state that over the past few years has legalized suppressors and SBRs, and rejected a somewhat less obscene version of the UBC bill–all with a democrat controlled state house and governor. If the politicians around here are so afraid to vote for an anti-gun measure, it stands to reason that there must be a lot of pro-gun voters.

  3. I’d be surprised if this didn’t pass. most issues are decided by the king and pierce county voters. despite almost every other county in the state voting conservative. and anyways “everyone’s in favor of background checks”, right?

    • that being said, King and Pierce counties have huge swaths of rural land where you will find many proactive gun owners. It may not be as in the bag as you think.

      • Plutocracy.

        You don’t get to participate in national politics these days unless you’re very, very wealthy.

        This is why Hillary Clinton was whining about how they were “flat broke” when Bill’s time ended in the White House. By anyone else’s standards they were still very well-off, but by her standards it was almost a disaster — they were perilously close to being unable to buy their way back into the political plutocracy.

  4. As far as I know all this is in force in Illinois. I don’t bother with Armslist, private sales or gun shows. And it’s f##ked up. Everyone in Washington state needs to protect their own rights. I don’t know if it’s possible to boycott Microsoft but the the LA Clippers is EZ. If you’re one of the richest men in the world you may not care. Vote.

  5. My question is how the HELL do they plan to enforce this requirement? The only way I see this being even remotely enforceable is to give an FFL to everyone that buys a gun. Then every gun owner would be subject to the same documentation and periodic inventory inspections. Without those requirements in place, it will be ridiculously easy for people to conduct private sales without the government ever knowing. The problem with that solution to the enforcement conundrum is the Feds already decided that in order to qualify for an FFL one must be primarily in the business of buying and selling firearms.

    • Well if background checks are required for every gun sale then any sale has to go through someone’s bound book with the make model and serial# so over time all guns will be “registered” at which point if something ever happened with a gun sold in a private sale then it could be traced back to the original owner who would then have to explain why Joe in the other county had it without an ffl transfer or the gun being reported as stolen.

      It wont happen over night but I think these people are playing a long game. When anti’s tell you they arent out to confiscate your guns they are being partially truthful, if they thought it wouldnt cause a civil war they probably would go for confiscation. In lieu of that they are settling for the next best thing, they want to make it nearly impossible to buy new guns, illegal to teach young people to shoot and demonize the people who own them currently so that over the next few generations firearms ownership dwindles to nothing.

      Think about it, if they make AR15s illegal they dont have to confiscate them and even if they pass universal background checks the owners can still report them stolen or “boating accident” as opposed to the “sold it and lost the bill of sale” but then you cant go to the range, you cant really hunt with them unless the game warden doesnt come around a lot etc. Then one generation later no one knows about or even cares what an AR15 was.

      • Example: How do you think the owner of the shotgun used in the Washington Navy Yard shootings was traced so quickly? Certainly not by using an Ouija Board.

    • It’s totally unenforceable in many ways. Criminals won’t abide by it – imagine that! And good folks that want to do a sale or transfer either pony up the time and cash to go to the FFL, or knowingly break the law and hope it doesn’t come back to bite them.

      If you break the law once – gross misdemeanor. Second offense – bumped up to a felony. So if some evidentiary trail comes back to you after a couple of what you thought to be innocent private sales – felony conviction and all that comes with it. And all over what for decades has not been nor has been associated with criminal activity.

      • The only way to make it enforceable as written is to register every gun owned to “grandfather in” your previous, legal, no-BGC privately purchased firearms. The way this bill is written it will expose anyone who has privately purchased a firearm into misdemeanor charges.

      • I expect that if a criminal ever ends up with one of my guns it will be because he stole it from me, not bought it. Of course, I don’t expect to report any thefts, either. What’s the point? Even if recovered it would never be returned. Otherwise, I don’t intend to either register or turn in any guns, or hide them, or surrender them. I do intend to defend my home against invaders.

  6. Seriously that fvcking outfit, hes just missing the Vader helmet hahahaha

    grassroots: read “a bunch of rich businessmen and paid political stooges”

  7. There isa reason they call it the Left coast and the position on the map is only part of it. I hope the good folks in WA can see how serious this is. All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to look the other way.

  8. Don’t be so sure that this won’t pass. The Puget Sound area is solidly liberal (and getting more liberal by the day) and that’s where most of the population lives. Eastern Washington is relatively conservative but there are far fewer people east of the Cascades.

    Additionally, King County’s history of voter fraud surpasses Chicago’s in criminality.

    • The saving grace is that there’s another initiative — I-591 — that prohibits the state from creating any registries or background checks unless they’re applied nationwide by federal law. It has 1/10 the funding, but it also is very likely to pass.

      If both pass (as they probably will), the question is kicked back to the legislature. And the WA state legislature has (so far) reliably supported the Second Amendment and civil rights in general. In fact. 594 is only up as a citizens’ initiative because it was brought as a referendum to the legislature first; the legislature refused to vote on it, so the initiative system kicked it out to a do-or-die public vote.

      It’s going to be messy and ugly, but if I understand my state civics, I’m pretty sure the loathsome I-594 is going to fail in the end.

  9. What a Putz.
    His money means nothing to him at all.
    Hes like a spoiled child who just wants things his way.
    He thinks he can buy anyone.
    I hope he losses yet again and this weeks allowance just goes down the drain.

    • It’s not that his money doesnt matter to him it’s the simple fact that when you are a billionaire this is chump change, he could dump a few million into each state in this country and still have 90% of his current money. Like when you round up to the nearest dollar at checkout at midwayusa or cabelas to support the NRA or wildlife conservation. He will make this back in interest from his investments in a few months, tax free of course because he uses the same “loopholes” that rich republicans use, but never mind that

  10. The legislation really is a stunner. While it allows bona fide gifts among family members, if we’re talking a temporary transfer it has to take place only under certain circumstances or in certain locations – in a life-or-death situation (as long as that person gives it right back after the threat is gone – and I have to believe that the person I’m handing it to would pass a background check!), at a gun range, during an organized shooting event / competition, or certain hunting circumstances, for instance.

    My favorite part is the life-or-death subsection:

    (c) A temporary transfer of possession of a firearm if such transfer is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to the person to whom the firearm is transferred if:
    (i) The temporary transfer only lasts as long as immediately necessary to prevent such imminent death or great bodily harm; and
    (ii) The person to whom the firearm is transferred is not prohibited from possessing firearms under state or federal law

    I’m supposed to call up NICS in a gunfight? Do they have a “For Imminent Danger, press ‘1’ ” option?? 🙂 I shouldn’t even ask that sarcastically – they might amend the initiative to require it!

    Hand my new Glock to my brother in my own living room so he can check out the grip stippling? Or let a friend shoot my .22 plinker at cans on my private property? Gross misdemeanor. And he commits one when he hands it back. Criminal sanction and in Washington, loss of CPL for 3 years.

    There’s a reason that big law enforcement organizations in this state oppose it. But I fear that the Seattle Metro voters will all feel good about having “done something” for “common sense” measures. I’m hoping that the Bloomberg money might come back and bite them from a PR perspective, but I think we’ll end up having to fight this one in the courts after passage.

    • Or when I take my kids out shooting on our favorite lonely patch of National Forest land, which is open for recreational shooting but not technically a gun range.

  11. *four letter expletive*
    They are going to waste a ton of money on the background check system then ask for more when it can’t catch criminals. Oh yeah, they added the ‘sensible’ buzzword in their statement.
    The NRA has beat out bloomberg’s money with significantly less before, but I bloomberg and friends are going to try to brainwash people with a ridiculous advertising campaign.

  12. This is going to very difficult to beat this back. Its going to take huge turnout by gun owners from the cities and counties outside King County. Washington is pretty much a dictatorship of Seattle.

  13. There is a easy defense to this. Just run opposing ads mocking Bloomberg for the autocrat he is. Pay to have them run right after each ad he helped pay for.

  14. If Bloomberg gave $1 M to law abiding inner city residents to purchase firearms and ammunition and safety and proficiency training to defend themselves, their families and their neighbors from street thugs and gangs, the mentally unsound, and jihadists, that would be news worthy. This is just continuing the same deceived attack on the Second Amendment, and inherent racism he has always exhibited.

  15. Someone needs to produce a commercial out there that explains to the kind citizens of WA that the only way to enforce universal background checks is to force universal registration of all firearms… then see how many of them vote for the measure.

      • It is amazing, but yes. When you explain that the UBC failed because it required registration, they say “duh, how can UBC work without registration?” The crux of their indignance is that our opposition to registration is irrationally paranoid, not that registration is not their goal. Unlike the next phase of their plan, which will be to deny that confiscation is their goal when they lobby for greater crime and mental health restrictions, the push for registration is right out in front.

      • Exactly. Bring up registration, and the response is “what’s the problem?”

        Bring up the fact that registration is the precursor to confiscating certain firearms, e.g. “assault weapons”, and the response is “what’s the problem?”

        Bring up the possibility of ammo buying restrictions next – e.g. limits on amounts, or limits on online purchase of ammo, and the response is “what’s the problem?”

        Those that support this law will say “what’s the problem?” all the way down to the last muzzleloader being the only thing you’re allowed to own. The response? “What’s the problem? The second amendment doesn’t say anything about background checks, assault weapons, or how much ammo you can own.”

        • That gets close to time to point out that if so-and-so happens I’ll have to come back and shoot you in the face when the rebellion starts, see if you get “what’s the problem?” from that!

        • It would probably help to point out that the only way to enforce registration is through physical inspection. You say you don’t have guns, but are you willing to let the police search your house once a year to prove it?

  16. There is another Initiative working at cross-purposes to I-594, I-591 which reads:

    This measure would prohibit government agencies from confiscating guns or other firearms from citizens without due process, or from requiring background checks on firearm recipients unless a uniform national standard is required.

    http://ballotpedia.org/Washington_Gun_Rights_Measure,_Initiative_591_%282014%29

    Oh fun times are a-coming for my state this next 60-odd days.

  17. I have quite a few friends that are pushing for this to pass. I have pointed out the fact that the largest police and sheriff association is against it. I have also asked them if they thought the bad guys were going to adhere to this. I also asked what other laws they have ever heard of that would cause someone to lose a right over night if they had never heard about the law. The question is, how will they notify all of the people in Washington that this is the new law should it pass and what they have legally been allowed to do for a hundred years can now land them in jail.

    • People are still getting dinged in Massachusetts with their lifetime FID cards. It’s usually older people that did not know they needed to get the new 5 year permission slip to own firearms. It will be the same deal in WA with transfers. I know people in my family swap and trade guns all of the time in Oregon. This will screw people like my family who view guns as not just mine, but available for use by the extended family. If one of my cousins wanted to use my hunting rifle I would gladly hand it to him for the season. It is just another way to stifle gun culture and turn good people into criminals. Criminals will not be affected one bit.

  18. For those who own businesses in Washington who still believe in the Bill of Rights, in freedom, this is another reason to move to a free state. Bring your money and jobs, and we will give you lower taxes and freedom in return. Seattle doesn’t need us producers anyway, for Bloomberg will take care of his serfs.

  19. I am educating everyone I know to vote No on 594. I am amazed that so many people are ignorant of the issues. Time to tell the antis to STFU, your money doesn’t work here.

  20. What use is a gun-control “we are being outspent” article if it doesn’t have a way for readers to do something about it besides leave a comment?

    Donate here to the Washington Gun Rights group if you got some change to spare:
    http://wagunrights.org/

    Here’s another article with more information about the fight in Washington. This is an important one to watch, because if it works there, it will spread to other states.
    http://www.examiner.com/article/gun-rights-backers-to-begin-airing-ads-as-anti-gunners-play-chicken-little

    • I donated. Depending on how the bill defines “range”, if it were in effect here I could have become a felon 9X over last week, when I taught two young ladies to shoot on a private ranch.

      • Aaaand after reading more about the bill, I see that the private ranch I was on did not qualify as a range under bill 594. This bill is a major league stinker.

  21. Gun rights truly are the canary in the liberty coal mine. I sense that the Fuds will vote for this for two reasons: 1) for the perceived improvement in safety, and 2) to punish a group with which they feel uncomfortable.

    Without the republican (small ‘r’) ideal of the rule of law trumping popular sentiment to protect against tyranny of the majority, the american POTG will inevitably suffer the fate of our brothers and sisters in Europe, Australasia, and almost every other western democratic region.

    I wish I knew how to combat it, but I’m not hopeful. I marvel at the hapless Fud who can’t seem to recognize that the guys bankrolling this operation are billionaires who can’t possibly share their interests.

    I pity the children. I hope they enjoy life in the Matrix.

  22. I know people whose homes cost a million bucks. What fools they are. They could have spent the same amount and bought a whole state.

    Washington is for sale — and cheap.

  23. I’m in Washington State and Bloomberg wasted his money on me. You can bet your last penny that I’m voting no on I-594 and yes on I-591 Here is the interesting part, they both can pass! If both pass, then comes a court battle? I suspect that like gay marriage and marijuana, it’s going to be huge as to what areas it passes. Virtually every county could reject 594 and pass on the west side in the Seattle area, where all the population is, and it could pass. This is VERY important for everyone. This needs to be voted down as it is a poster child for future regulation. Obviously virtually everyone who comes to this web site who lives in Washington will vote against it. But for those people we know who may be able to be swayed, get in there and influence them.
    No on I-594 and yes on I-591

  24. If it passes, can we all hope for a massive, enormous, gigundous, earthquake which will take the entire west coast out to sea ? I sure hope nobody would get hurt, but, you know, just separate them from the rest of America.

  25. It’s all going to come down to turnout. High turnout in urban central Puget Sound and we’re screwed. Low turnout there combined with high turnout elsewhere in the state means the good guys win.

  26. I hope the real Patriots show this law the door! Also, we need to start a national “Citizens Against Regulatory Excess” movement before the red tape is wrapped around every facet of American life!

  27. What people miss about this initiative is that you need to go through an FFL for every “Transfer”. Transfer includes loans. There are specific exemptions when there are two people in the field hunting and both have hunting licenses, or at a “licensed” gun range.

    No one knows what a “licensed” gun range is. There is no gun range license process in the state (other than a business license).

    I see this as having a dramatic chilling effect on actual firearms safety training (like NRA training, not like Brady guns-are-dangerous-and-should-only-be-touched-by-the-annointed training). If i run the risk of becoming a criminal by helping a student clear a jam (when teaching for free), I’m just not going to do it.

    I also store a couple of handguns for friends in my safe as they don’t have one. Not no more. We’d need a background check for every drop off and pick up.

    The real purpose of this bill is to raise the hassle factor so high that is kills use.

    If you think this is a Washignton State only problem, wake up.

    We need help here on the beach head.

    Some real grassroots money to counter astro turf billionaire money would be nice.

    Anything you can throw at the pro-gun side would help. Maybe the cost of a box of ammo?

    http://wagunrights.org

  28. Bloomberg isn’t too popular in the liberal Sea-Tac area. They tend to be more moderate than the extreme progressives, at least the citizenry if not the politicos, and are rather isolationist…a different animal than the East coast and Midwest liberal. However they can be unpredictable as well. But…I can see a good percentage taking a measured look at anything he is backing and at least not just going along with things like lemmings like you might see from other big cities’ population. Plus I can tell you that almost every other larger city…Spokane, Yakima and the Tri-Cities included, will not be down with 594.

    • I agree with Bloomberg not being real popular outside the city limits of Seattle. That’s why I often refer to I-594 as “The Bloomberg Bill.”

  29. Background checks for used firearms falls under the authority off the states. I hope the state of Washington makes a decision worthy of a free people.

  30. Personally I don’t think it’s going to pass I594 that is. They must have some internal poll numbers that are freaking them out for them to donate so much. I mean that brings the total up to 4million dollars for donations for 594. I mean look at what happened in CO, they donated so much money, all the “public polls” said that the recall was going down in flames, and come to find out the polls were totally wrong. Alongside that, if a “blue state” needs 4 million dollars to pass an initiative, something doesn’t smell right.

  31. The NRA has clearly thrown us under the bus here in WA. They don’t like SAF and they have some sort of beef with Gottlieb. Whatever the reason, they have abandoned us.

    I won’t be renewing.

    If 594 passes, I intend to ignore it.

    • The NRA doesn’t seem to do much political work at the state level, so I’m not surprised we aren’t being showered with money from them. I didn’t know they have a beef with SAF/Gottlieb – do you have a reference for that? Not implying you are wrong, I am just curious.

      I didn’t get back into guns until I moved to WA, and found out that I was in a gun owner’s paradise (relatively speaking). In most respects are state laws are better then FL’s which is where I moved from.

      My wife and I will be voting NO on I594 and YES on I591 come hell or high water.

      I guess I’ll throw some money to WAgunrights.org even though I am broke.

  32. I live here in WA just north of Seattle. This place is more liberal than anyone realizes until you come here. Roads completed devoted to 2,000 bike riders per day, extending commute times by 15 mins out of downtown. Parking rates no longer than 2 hours for $16.00. One of the highest taxed populations in the USA, Minimum wage increases to $15 by 2019. Marijuana law passed, Gay Marriage passed, naked solstice parades, WIDE OPEN drug dealing downtown, and on and on it goes. The schools don’t even say the Pledge of Allegiance daily.

    If my kids were older, I would be out of here. Out of respect for my kids and their relationships with their friends we stay. When they go to college, I am outta here to Idaho.

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