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0000017b-f971-ddf0-a17b-fd73f3950000Election coverage from SPR and the Northwest News Network:Statewide Election: WashingtonSpokane County ElectionStatewide Election: IdahoStatewide Election: OregonU.S. House and Senate

Washington Voters Approve Expanded Gun Background Checks

Washington voters have overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to expand background checks for person-to-person gun sales and transfers.

Credit M Glasgow / Flickr

Initiative 594 was passing election night with 60 percent of the vote. The measure will require background checks for person-to-person gun sales and transfers in Washington. That includes gun show and internet transactions.

Current law only requires federally-licensed gun dealers to conduct these checks.

Cheryl Stumbo, a shooting survivor and the citizen sponsor of the initiative, told the crowd the fight is not over.

“We’ve closed Washington state’s background check loophole and we’re going to continue this fight for policies that reduce crime and save lives,” she said. “This movement is here to stay.”

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Washington becomes the seventh state to require universal background checks.

A competing gun measure, Initiative 591, would have prohibited Washington from adopting a stricter background check requirement. That measure was trailing by 10 points.

Both initiatives started out as initiatives to the legislature. When the legislature failed to act, they went to the ballot.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."