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Originally published Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM

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Editorial: Another voice for gun safety

The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility organized to promote gun safety, starting with universal background checks for all gun sales.

Seattle Times Editorial

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THE public campaign for gun safety and accountable gun ownership received a serious infusion of talent, energy and resources.

Formation of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility will help promote legislation to require background checks for all firearms sales in the state.

Good intentions are a start, but they are rarely enough to complete a challenging task. Entering the political fray in Olympia and engaging a wider audience to ensure public safety takes skills and effort.

The group is being financed by venture capitalist Nick Hanauer. Members include Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, Seattle-King County health director David Fleming, former Seattle City Councilmember Tina Podlodowski and Eric Liu, an author and public television host.

They quickly attracted support from the public-health community, public-safety organizations, including the Seattle Police Department, the King County Prosecutor’s Office, religious groups and concerned parents.

The initial focus is on House Bill 1588, sponsored by state Rep. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, which specifies no unlicensed person could sell a firearm to another unlicensed person without a background check. That would cover all sales, from gun shows to any private transaction.

A lot of talent has been assembled for this challenge, including Zach Silk, who guided the successful campaign on behalf of same-sex marriage.

Promoting sensible, responsible gun ownership does not trample on Second Amendment prerogatives to own firearms.

Nor should gun ownership preclude reasonable expectations of public safety and accountability.

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