Backers of Initiative 594’s call for universal background checks for gun buyers will have former congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ support during a hearing on two gun measures Tuesday. Gifford, a three-term Arizona Democrat, was shot and gravely wounded in January 2011 in a mass shooting during a political event that killed six people near Tucson, Ariz.
Giffords’ husband, Mark Kelly, also is expected to testify on I-594 and I-591.
The House Judiciary Committee hearing is at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the John L. O’Brien Building’s Hearing Room A.
I-594 is one of two gun-related measures likely headed to the ballot in November. I-591 would bar additional background check requirements unless there was a national standard, which is unlikely. But neither measure is expected to get acted on by Washington’s divided Legislature during the 2014 session.
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Interests from outside the state have long been expected to enter the campaigns on both sides of the gun safety debate – at least financially. The arrival of Giffords shows that involvement is well under way.
The Office of the Secretary of State has certified I-594 for the ballot; elections workers are checking signatures on I-591 which is also expected to be certified soon.