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Millions Coming In for Competing Gun Initiatives

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While voters won’t weigh in on two competing gun-related ballot measures for months, money is already pouring into the campaigns in advance of the November election.

One measure proposes universal background checks for all gun sales and transfers in Washington state, with some exemptions. The other would prevent the state from adopting background-check laws that go beyond the national standard, which requires the checks for sales by licensed dealers but not for purchases from private sellers.

Initiative 594, which would expand background checks, has a significant fundraising advantage over Initiative 591. Both campaigns are expected to draw national money in the coming months. The initiative to expand the checks has raised about $3.4 million, and has been pledged more than $500,000 more by one donor, compared to I-591′s $1 million.

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