October 10, 2013

Washington state legislators will likely be forced to vote on a measure requiring universal background checks for gun sales next year after supporters turned in a first round of signatures to the Secretary of State’s office.

Backers of Initiative 594 delivered 250,401 signatures Wednesday, more than the 246,000 required to place the initiative before legislators but short of the 325,000 signatures the Secretary of State recommends, due to the number of signatures likely to be deemed invalid. Initiative supporters will continue gathering signatures ahead of the Jan. 3 deadline.

The initiative seeks to require a background check on everyone who purchases a firearm in the state, including through private sales and at gun shows. Only antique guns transferred between family members would be exempt.

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