OLYMPIA – Advocates seeking to expand the use of background checks on gun sales submitted a Washington state ballot initiative Tuesday, taking a new approach after both federal and state lawmakers passed on similar proposals.
The plan would require background checks for online sales and private transactions, such as those that occur at gun shows. The checks would be conducted at federally licensed firearm dealers, where people already must undergo such scrutiny before purchasing a new weapon.
Supporters said the measure wouldn't stop all gun violence but would prevent people who shouldn't have guns – criminals and the mentally ill – from easily acquiring them. They contended that the public is ready to push ahead with the idea.