Five billionaires poured millions of dollars into promoting the nation’s toughest firearm background check law in Washington state and scored a big success for gun control that is likely to become a model for the nation.
Voters in Washington handily approved the ballot measure while defeating a competing initiative that would have prevented any background checks not authorized by the federal government.
Ballot initiative 594 will trigger a background check on almost all private sales – at gun shows, over the Internet and even sales and loans of guns between friends and family members.
In Tuesday’s returns, I-594 was being supported by more than 60 percent of voters, winning handily in nine of the 10 largest counties.
Background checks are now required only when buying from licensed dealers.
Five billionaires – Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer and Nick Hanauer – poured a total of more than $5 million into the promotion of expanded background checks in Washington state.