The husband of former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, appeared before Oregon legislators on Thursday to speak in favor of expanded background checks for gun sales, as Republicans contended the Democrat-proposed legislation is “political posturing” as Oregon’s May primary nears.
Washington lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday, and while they don’t have to grapple with a budget shortfall for the first time in several years, they still face pressing issues over funding for education and transportation.
Starbucks says guns are no longer welcome in its cafes, though it is stopping short of an outright ban on firearms.
Advocates seeking to expand the use of background checks on gun sales have filed a ballot initiative.
After struggling to sway both state and federal lawmakers, proponents of expanding background checks for gun sales are now exploring whether they will have more success by taking the issue directly to voters.
Supporters of gun control in Washington state are laying the groundwork for an initiative campaign to try and expand the use of background checks if a similar proposal fails to pass Congress.
About 150 gun-control advocates rallied Thursday on the steps of the state Capitol, a day before lawmakers plan to hear public testimony on measures that would impose new restrictions on carrying and selling firearms.
A contentious proposal to expand background checks on Washington state gun sales failed Tuesday in the state House, where supporters said they were just a handful of votes short.
Supporters of a plan to expand background checks on gun sales are more optimistic about the bill’s fate after securing another key vote. Democratic Rep. Jamie Pederson of Seattle said Tuesday he expected the state House would take up the measure later in the day. Supporters have been straining to corral a few extra votes that would give the bill majority support in the chamber.
Gun control advocates in Washington state are forming a coalition to lobby state lawmakers, hoping to help usher passage of a plan to expand background checks. Democratic consultant Christian Sinderman said Tuesday the new group will focus this year on supporting lawmakers who take difficult votes on the issue and organize public efforts to keep pressure on the Legislature.