Gates donates $1 million to background check effort in Washington

Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, donated $1 million to a background check effort underway in Washington state.

The Microsoft co-founder gave the money to support Initiative 594, a measure that would expand background checks to all private firearm transfers, including those made over the Internet and at gun shows.

Gates’s donation follows that of his old Microsoft cohort Paul Allen, who gave $500,000 in recent weeks and brings the total pot for I-594 to almost $6 million.

Even though I-594 has the support of billionaires and millionaires, it faces tough opposition from grassroots pro-gun advocates who are backing a competing measure, Initiative I-591, which protects background check uniformity and stops the state from creating a universal background check registry.

Leading the charge for I-591 is Alan Gottlieb, the chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, who spoke about the Gates donation in an email to GunsAmerica.

“If the background check measure I-594 is really so popular why are billionaires now giving 6 and 7 figure donations to it?,” Gottlieb asked.

“Of course Bill Gates can give a million dollars and still afford armed security for his family,” he continued. “All of our grassroots donors are eking by on a living wage and can only give $10 or $25 donations. That makes it hard for us to win when the other side can buy an election.”

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • JoeInCT March 11, 2017, 5:32 pm

    What business does Mr. Bloomberg have becoming involved in promoting his anti-2nd-Amendment agenda in a State he is not a resident of? He can flash his checkbook in New York State, presuming that is his State of residence, but he has no business sticking his nose into the business of the people of Washington State. We get upset at foreign nationals contributing to candidates in our Federal elections (presumably because such activity is illegal); why is it any different for legislation within any of the States?

  • Edward Rambo September 26, 2016, 3:58 pm

    We don’t need more background checks, what we need is more Criminal control, do you really think that backgrounds are going to be run on Felons? What you need to be doing is finding ways to stop Criminals and Mental patients from getting guns not people that are entitled to get them. When Gang members and drug dealers, all of which carry guns, do you really think they went down to the local gun store and purchased their guns? N-O, they get them from other Gang members, or drug dealers, and I can’t believe that you are that S-T-U-P-I-D that you think more background checks are going to do anything to change gun crimes… You know Mr. Gates I thought you were smarter than that..

  • jib quinn August 11, 2015, 9:33 am

    Well, we know where Microsoft stands. Anyone know about Apple? Probably the same. I hate to hand money to enemies.

  • What i know August 29, 2014, 8:47 pm

    We need to start filing lawsuits against the big money people like, GATES and BLOOMBERG for violating our Rights!!

    If we get together and start filling a lawsuit’s, in every city they, donate money, in after enough suit’s being filled and going to court, it will start eating away at there money and they might get the message then!!!

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