Letters to the Editor

Voting yes for gun saftey with I-594

As a mom and a childhood survivor of gun violence, I need to know my child is safe and will never have to experience what I did. I already planned on voting “yes” on Initiative 594 this November to keep guns out of dangerous hands by closing the background check loophole, and now I believe new statistics released by Everytown for Gun Safety have confirmed that background checks are effective at keeping guns out of dangerous hands.

In Washington, federal background checks have stopped more than 40,000 gun sales to prohibited purchasers since 1998. Of those, more than 6,000 were domestic abusers.

But we can do even more to reduce crime and keep our kids safe.

Currently, handguns sold by licensed dealers go through a background check. But there’s a loophole that makes it easy to evade a background check by buying a gun from an unlicensed seller online, at a gun show, or from a stranger. Initiative 594 closes that loophole. In states with background checks on all handgun sales, 38 percent fewer women are shot to death by intimate partners and 39 percent fewer law enforcement officers are murdered with handguns.

We must do everything we can to make our kids and communities safer—and 594 is a step in that direction. Join me in voting “yes” on Initiative 594.

Liz Hjelmseth

Bellingham

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