Washington voters approving I-594 to expand gun background checks

SEATTLE -- Washington voters were approving Initiative 594 to expand background checks on nearly all gun sales, initial results showed Tuesday night.

With 1.2 million votes counted, I-594 was leading 60-40% and its rival measure, I-591, which would limit gun background checks, was losing 55-45%.

I-594 would require background checks on all gun sales except for antique guns and family transfers.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said, “Today, Washington has made a significant commitment to gun safety for all. States with universal background checks have fewer women killed in domestic violence situations, fewer law enforcement officers shot and fewer firearm suicides.

“As the first state to pass this by popular vote, Washington has sent a message of hope to other states that progress is possible. We can act to prevent gun violence. We can save lives."

In the only other statewide measure, I-1351 to reduce class sizes in public schools was slightly losing 51-49% and too close to call.  It was a 14,000 vote margin with nearly 1.2 million votes cast.

In Seattle, Proposition 1 to stave off Metro Transit bus cuts in the city by raising revenue was passing 59-41%.

“Great cities need great mass transit – and Seattle is a great city," Murray said.

"Seattle voters have entrusted us with new resources, and taxpayers must have confidence that they will get value for their money. I pledge that the city will use this money responsibly. We are working with Metro on strict accountability measures that ensure that this funding is used to improve transit services here in Seattle in areas of greatest need.”

And Mayor Ed Murray's Pre-K education for Seattle children was passing with 67% of the vote.

“The passage of Proposition 1B is a huge win for Seattle’s kids and for Seattle’s future," Murray said.  "Tonight marks the beginning of the end of Seattle’s achievement and opportunity gap. Tonight marks a significant step toward making Seattle a city where students of all races and incomes are able to succeed in our public schools."