Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, have donated $1 million to a Washington state campaign seeking to expand background checks on gun sales. The couple said that they believe”I-594 (Initiative 594) will be an effective and balanced approach to improving gun safety in our state by closing existing loopholes for background checks.” The donation to the I-594 campaign was made public on Monday via the Public Disclosure Commission website.
“I-594 would require background checks for all gun sales and transfers in Washington state, including at gun shows and for private sales. Under the measure, exemptions would exist, including gifts within a family and antiques. A rival campaign, I-591, would prevent the state from adopting background-check laws that go beyond the national standard, which requires the checks for sales by licensed dealers but not for purchases from private sellers.” That campaign has raised just over $1 million so far.” -Huffington Post
Other prominent figures who have made large donations to the I-594 campaign include former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, who have given $580,000. The campaign has brought in nearly $6 million.