Paul Allen, investors raise $2 million for Washington gun safety initiative

Paul Allen, investors raise $2 million for Washington gun safety initiative

Gun safety advocates now have nearly $3 million for a new state initiative to tighten gun laws in Washington. I-1639 would raise the age to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21, require enhanced background checks and impose safe-storage standards for guns. More than two-thirds of the money for the initiative comes from two men, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and venture capitalist/political activist Nick Hanauer. Each donated $1 million. I-1639 needs around 300,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot. News of the donations followed the Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s annual fundraising lunch Monday afternoon, held just days after the latest school shooting massacre in Texas. Organizers added a tribute to the victims of Santa Fe High School and a moment of silence to the previously scheduled event. High school students headlined the event, representing a student movement that’s ignited following the tragedy in Parkland, Fla. “Going to school every day and seeing my peers feel unsafe, as well as feeling unsafe myself has forced me to take a more active stance in the gun violence prevention movement,” student organizer Niko Battle told the crowd within the Westin ballroom. Battle, a junior at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, and his friend Alicia Heia, a senior at Ingraham High School in Seattle, co-founded the non-profit “We Won’t Be Next.” Over the past several months they’ve organized student walk-outs, demonstrations, voter registration and outreach efforts. Battle and Heia say they’re worried not only about mass shootings, but daily gun violence, citing a shooting […]

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