Tags: Second Amendment | gun control | hunting

Voters in Several States to Decide on Gun Rights Issues

By    |   Tuesday, 04 November 2014 12:51 PM

Across the nation today voters will have an opportunity to vote to strengthen background checks, make hunting a constitutional right and elect Second Amendment advocates to state and federal office.

In Washington State, voters will have multiple choices as two competing initiatives pertaining to background checks are on the ballot.

If Initiative 594 passes, background checks would be required at gun shows and in private sales, which is tougher than current federal law.

If Initiative 591 passes, the state would be prohibited from expanding background checks beyond the current federal law.

According to a recent poll by Independent pollster Stuart Elway, 60 percent of voters were inclined to vote for universal background checks, which is a drop from 70 percent in July and 72 percent in April, reports The Seattle Times.

Supporters of universal background checks, including former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates, have raised as much as $8.6 million while those opposing the expansion have raised just over $1 million.

While the measures have starkly different goals, there is a chance that voters could approve both measures, according to the latest polls.

According to Seattle Times columnist Jonathan Martin, if both measures pass, the question would go to the Legislature and then to the courts if a two-thirds vote in the state Legislature fails to amend and reconcile the conflict, or to nullify one.

Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association (NRA), has criticized the wording and length of Initiative 594, saying it is intended to confuse voters.

“Five ninety-four is an 18-page document that’s being sold as a simple background check,” he told The New York Times. He says the initiative actually would require background checks beyond gun sales, including to potentially require a background check for even the loan of a firearm to a friend.

Gun rights are also an issue in several congressional races, including the race in Arizona's 2nd congressional district, which pits pro-Second Amendment candidate Martha McSally, a Republican, against Democrat incumbent Ron Barber.

Guns have become an issue in the district which was represented by Gabby Giffords, who became a gun control advocate after being shot while meeting constituents at a supermarket.

McSally, a retired Air Force colonel, is within striking distance in a race in which more than $2 million from Giffords' gun control PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions, has been spent to re-elect Barber, reports The Hill.

In Chicago, which is purported to have some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, an "advisory" vote on two issues – background checks for gun sales and banning assault weapons sales – is planned, according to Reason magazine.

In Alabama and Mississippi, hunting rights are on the ballot. Both states will be able to vote to assert that residents have a constitutional right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, subject to regulation, The Washington Post reports.

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Across the nation today voters will have an opportunity to vote to strengthen background checks, make hunting a constitutional right and elect Second Amendment advocates to state and federal office.
Second Amendment, gun control, hunting
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2014-51-04
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 12:51 PM
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