Gun Control Advocates File Background Check Initiative
By Austin Jenkins
Gun control backers in Washington have filed an initiative to the legislature to require background checks for all gun sales. The move Tuesday follows a failed effort earlier this year at the Capitol to enact a universal background check measure. The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility is the group behind the initiative. But it was filed by Cheryl Stumbo, a survivor of a 2006 shooting at Seattle’s Jewish Federation.
“I was shot once with a hollow point bullet at pointblank range, the result of that was 20 surgeries over a three year period and many, many months of PTSD therapy," Stumbo says.
Stumbo says universal background checks would not have stopped the Jewish Federation shooter – who lawfully purchased his gun at a dealer. But she says it would be selfish on her part not to support an effort she believes will prevent other shootings. Sponsors have until next January to collect nearly 250-thousand valid voter signatures. If they succeed the initiative would first go to the legislature and then to the ballot if lawmakers don’t act on it. The National Rifle Association opposes universal background checks calling them a burden on law-abiding citizens.
Cheryl Stumbo, right, survived the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle. Photo by Austin Jenkins