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Washington school shooting comes as voters decide gun measures

Editor’s Note: Two opposing gun measures appear on Washington ballots this fall: one to expand background checks on gun purchases, one to limit them. Now, voters will make their decisions with a recent school shooting fresh in their memories. This story first appeared on the NW News Network.


The shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School Friday comes as Washington voters are about to decide two competing gun-related ballot measures.

Next week, two parents who lost children in the Sandy Hook school shooting are scheduled to be in Seattle. They will campaign for Initiative 594 to expand background checks.

The background check campaign put out a statement shortly after the shooting. It said, in part: “While the facts of today’s shooting are still unclear… It is up to all of us to come together and work to reduce gun violence.”

Cheryl Stumbo is the sponsor of Initiative 594 and a shooting survivor. Stumbo acknowledges that most school shooters obtain their guns from home or a relative.

Initiative “594, if and when it passes, is obviously not going to prevent all gun violence in our state, but it is a way for us to do something,” she said.

Stumbo said she’s convinced if Initiative 594 passes it will save some lives.

Initiative 591 is the competing gun rights measure on Washington’s ballot. It would prevent the state from adopting a background check requirement that goes beyond what federal law requires. That campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

The National Rifle Association also held back in contrast to gun control advocates who were vocal in the hours after the Marysville shooting.

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