Elections | Local | News | Politics

Ad War Starts In Washington Gun Initiative Campaign

OPB | Aug. 28, 2014 1:24 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 2, 2014 noon | Vancouver, Washington

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Backers of a Washington state gun initiative will start airing TV and radio ads Monday.

If passed, Initiative 591 would prevent the expansion of background checks for gun sales and prohibit the confiscation of guns without due process.

Alan Gottlieb, chair of Protect Our Gun Rights Coalition, the group behind the measure, wouldn’t say how much running the ad will cost. But he says it’s the only ad the group has produced; others are still being planned.

“Right now, we feel we have a very strong message in the ads that was released, and we’d like to ride it as long as we can if in fact it’s working,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb’s group has raised more than $1 million and spent about $750,000, according to campaign finance data filed with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission.

The ads are scheduled to air on Fox News, CNN, CNBC and several radio stations.

The ad was also posted to YouTube (see below).

Another gun measure on the November ballot — Initiative 594 — would tighten gun regulations.

If passed, I-594 would require universal background checks on all sales and transfers, including sales at gun shows and online.

I-594 is backed by the group Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility. So far, the group has raised more then $6 million and spent nearly $2.25 million, according to campaign finance data filed with the state.

Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility received several high-profile donations from the Seattle business community. Bill and Melinda Gates contributed more the $1 million. Businessman Nick Hanauer chipped in about $1.3 million. Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife Connie have donated a collective $500,000.

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