Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer aims to alter gun laws

Nick Hanauer

Nick Hanauer

Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer is no stranger to politics, having previously led efforts to institute an income tax for Washington state’s wealthiest residents. That measure, I-1098, went down in flames in 2009.

But now Hanauer, one of the earliest investors in Amazon.com and a co-founder of aQuantive, the online advertising company that sold to Microsoft for $6 billion, is back in the political arena. This time, Hanauer, known for his progressive political stances, is looking to alter gun laws in Washington state by instituting more stringent background checks prior to a gun purchase.

“We want to keep guns out of the hands of people who are dangerous, criminals or insane,” Hanauer told GeekWire media partner KING 5. The gun control bill is expected to be filed on Monday with the Washington legislature, instituting criminal background checks on gun purchases with “no excuses” and “no exceptions.”

Hanauer and Zillow chairman Rich Barton are the planned guests for the GeekWire radio show and podcast, airing Saturday, June 15th.

Previously on GeekWireRich venture capitalist Nick Hanauer sounds off (again) on why his taxes need to be raised

Here’s more of what Hanauer had to say from the KING 5 report, noting that if the legislature fails to act, he will help bankroll a state initiative for 2014 that could go directly to voters.

  • JG

    I think you mean the opposite of “curb.” It sounds like he’s trying to expand gun laws, not restrain gun laws.

    • Guest

      agreed, pretty sure this is not curbing laws but rather expanding them

      • johnhcook

        Thanks for the feedback. Good points. I changed to “alter” gun laws to make that more clear, as he’s trying to alter the current background check system. Hopefully that makes more sense.

  • patroclus1

    i think you meant to say “income tax” rather than “sales tax.”

  • Rich

    I think you meant income tax in the first paragraph.

    • johnhcook

      My gosh, folks. Apologies. I’ve fixed that. Guess I am having a slow start to the week here. I’ll pick it up.

  • Guest

    Thanks, Nick. As the comments on GeekWire and other news websites often show, firearms find their way into the hands of men with mental disabilities, paranoid delusions, and god complexes. Far from guns being a “right,” owning a firearm should be a privilege granted based on ability and need, revoked as necessary.

    • Guest

      I guess that’s because that’s what “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” really means in the Bill of Rights. It means “far from guns being a ‘right’, owning a firearm should be a privilege”.
      It’s sad that nobody actually reads the Constitution anymore.

      • Guest

        Let’s change the Bill of Rights. The Constitution used to count slaves (which were legal) as 3/5 of a person. We changed that. Women used to be barred from voting. We changed that.

        Let’s make guns a privilege, not a right.

        • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jefferwin Jeff Erwin

          I agree with this completely. If you want to take away the guns, change the constitution. We have well defined methods for doing that.

          This option is NEVER pursued by the left-wing progressive crowd or the libs because they know there is no way in hell they could EVER get the votes to change the 2nd amendment.

          Go for it!

        • Jeff

          Go ahead. Really, please, quit wasting your time and ours, and just do it. Please push for the abolition of the second amendment.

          I’m sure it will be a really popular move.

          Since the support doesn’t actually exist to do that, what we have instead is endless regulatory meddling in what is a guaranteed right. In many states in this nation, you can barely exercise that right without the government’s permission. Yet, these places still have incredible amounts of violent crime. It’s almost as if the people who wish to commit crimes, don’t care what the law says. Imagine that.

          The “feel-good” laws don’t seem to work, but you and others keep hammering away at it.

          Quit the BS and go for the gold. Do what you really want to do, and make a push to repeal the second amendment.

          Just don’t be so sure that the other amendments in its numerical vicinity won’t be far behind.

        • http://FreedomFiles.Info/ FactsNotFallacies

          You mean like what the laws already presume? If you’re a convicted violent criminal you are no longer allowed to have one last time I checked.

  • Slaggggg

    Between trying to take more of my hard-earned money via income tax, to now heading down the path of taking away my right to defend myself — Nick Hanauer is definitely my least favorite person being written about in these pages. Thanks for trying to tell us how to live – but we prefer liberty.

    • Richard Keith

      I agree with slaggggg. The more honest citizens you disarm, the happyer the criminals are. These liberal airheads are totally clueless when it comes down to the actual facts.

  • RobertinSeattle

    Read my lips: Criminals and the mentally insane do NOT apply for gun permits. Most of them steal their guns or buy them on the street. When you can get those people to adhere to your rules, then I’ll gladly go along with stricter background checks. Utter waste of time and waste of money.

    One more dumb idea from a lucky billionaire who also buys into the philosophy of “I’m rich, so therefore I’m smart.”

    • http://FreedomFiles.Info/ FactsNotFallacies

      Well most of them get guns from straw purchases:

      http://to.pbs.org/18ioIkJ

      And Nick hasn’t said a word about how his proposed restrictions would do anything to stop this.

  • Viet Nguyen

    Nick has a pretty high standard to overcome, given the state constitutional protections.

    While the WA Supreme Court has stated the right is “not absolute and is subject to reasonable regulation by the State under its police power,” the burden will be on the crafters of the law to demonstrate how establishment of a criminal background check doesn’t impair the right of an individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state.

    After all, there are more state and federal protections in the owning of a weapon than there are for owning virtually any other item. That is, why would you impose a criminal background check on a weapon before you’d do so for owning a vehicle or buying a bunch of fertilizer? Wouldn’t the insane person or criminal be able to do just as much if not more damage in car/truck/van or with a bunch of potentially explosive fertilizer?

    • http://FreedomFiles.Info/ FactsNotFallacies

      He seems to be unaware that gun shows already do checks on gun purchases by restricting sales only to members of the organization that puts on the event. You have to pass a criminal background check to become a member in the first place.

  • guest 4

    This guy is such a total TURD. Nick, you clueless dolt, the gun laws we already have a super restrictive. The problem isn’t that legal guns are too easy to get. The problem is that illegal guns are easy to get. In addition, when someone is “insane” you can’t actually lock them up against their will i.e. being insane isn’t in and of itself a crime nor does it mean that person can’t buy a guy, especially if they haven’t previously been violent.
    My father was a psychiatrist so I’m quite familiar with mental illness. And that’s the key point, it is an illness. Further, my brother was shot in the face during an attempted car jacking. Was the criminal using a registered gun? Um, no, of course not. The police didn’t even really look for him because my brother managed to live.
    So please, you did a great job investing in Amazon and you were totally lucky with your POS company Atlas, so just shut up and ride off into the sunset. No one wants their taxes raised and the prospect of you getting further involved in politics is truly sickening. Go away. Now.

  • http://FreedomFiles.Info/ FactsNotFallacies

    Would Nick like to explain why he thinks his new restrictions will save lives given the fact that the Bureau of Justice Statistics has already found on multiple occasions that less than 1% of all criminals acquire their guns from gun shows, and that we have every reason to believe that criminals in that 1% category would still be able to acquire a firearm from a wide variety of other means?

    Can he just be honest and just say he wants to ban all guns?