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Originally published Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

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Editorial: NRA needs to keep hands off Initiative 594

Lawmakers have enough work to do without wasting time on misguided NRA attempts to curb Initiative 594.


Seattle Times Editorial

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THE National Rifle Association’s intention to chip away at Washington’s just-passed ballot measure extending background checks to all gun sales would be a monumental waste of legislative time.

State lawmakers already face a weighty agenda of education-funding mandates and transportation-infrastructure needs, so any out-of-state NRA meddling on the popular ballot item would be a distraction.

Initiative 594, which drew 59.3 percent voter support last month, extends current gun purchase background checks to gun shows and online transactions.

The measure provides exemptions for transfers among family members, transfers of antiques and temporary loans of firearms for hunting, sporting events, training and use as a theatrical prop.

Still, the NRA says it plans to seek “legislative remedies to the most onerous provisions” of the initiative.

The gun-rights group didn’t share details of its plans, but any amendments would require a two-thirds majority of the Legislature in the initiative’s first two years. And such votes are extremely hard to come by.

Given the scale of voter support, the lofty work lawmakers need to do next term and the sheer improbability of the effort, the NRA should respect the will of the people and keep its long lobbying tentacles away from I-594.

Editorial board members are editorial page editor Kate Riley, Frank A. Blethen, Ryan Blethen, Jonathan Martin, Thanh Tan, Blanca Torres, Robert J. Vickers, William K. Blethen (emeritus) and Robert C. Blethen (emeritus).



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