paulallen2First Steve Ballmer, Bill Gates, and Nick Hanauer showed their support for a new law that would require stricter background checks for gun sales in Washington. Now Paul Allen is joining the charge.

The Microsoft co-founder has pitched in $500,000 to the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, a coalition that wants to require background checks for Washington residents who buy firearms at gun shows and online.

Ballmer and his wife Connie have poured in nearly $600,000 in support of the initiative, while Bill and Melinda Gates donated $50,000 last year. Hanauer, a prominent Seattle venture capitalist, has contributed nearly $400,000.

The group is responsible for nearly one-third of the $3.5 million given to the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility.

Initiative 594, which will be on the November ballot, would close what the alliance calls a “loophole.”

“Law enforcement agencies and public safety officials agree that this loophole promotes illegal gun trafficking and enables individuals with criminal intent to purchase firearms,” the alliance notes. “This initiative will simply ensure that a background check is conducted for every gun purchase.”

I-594 would include some exemptions, including gifts within a family, antique firearms, and temporary transfers to prevent death or injury.

While many from law enforcement agencies support the initiative, there are some organizations like the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs who oppose I-594 and instead support Initiative-591, a competing measure that would prevent Washington from enacting background check requirements that are not required by federal law.

An April poll found 72 percent of Washington voters in support of I-594, but also 55 percent in support of I-591.

This is one of Allen’s largest initiative donations. He put more than $2.5 million to a public school campaign in 2000 and gave $500,000 to a group called “CIT For More Important Things” in 1997.

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  • Wayne

    Once again our betters telling us how to think. People bitch about the Koch bros, Tom Steyer or George Soros. Here we have our own local versions of the same “well intentioned” oligarchs, and I do no doubt they will get the election result they paid for. This really bothers me, especially Balmer, now that he doesn’t have a company to run into the dirt and he can dabble in all kinds of social issues.

  • Freedom

    How did these illiterates become so wealthy? If they actually read all 18 pages of new legislation 594 produces they could clearly see that it has little to do with background checks, but mostly gun registration, and eventually confiscation. Libtards!

  • Salty_Swede

    Just another elite 0.00001%er, guarded 24×7 by armed security, throwing their $ around unconcerned for the poor, elderly and minorities who are disproportionately impacted by this nearly impossible to enforce initiative.

    Oh and the 594 proponents are not being honest on their website about law enforcement support. The Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs (WACOPS), Washington State Retired Deputy Sheriffs & Police Officers Association (WSRDSPOA),& Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association (WSLEFIA) all announced that they back I-591 and oppose Initiative 594.

    • Andrew

      I don’t think that “poor, elderly and minorities” are selling their guns to other people.

  • tryingtocalmdown

    Once the NRA starts advertising against 594, it will have serious problems. Hanauer’s track record on initiatives is weak at best. Guess Ballmer is looking to spend every penny of his billions on goofy stuff before he dies (NBA teams, lefty initiatives, etc.)

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