Bill and Melinda Gates have both offered up $500,000 to The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, "a coalition of concerned citizens and organizations working together to forge commonsense solutions to reduce gun violence."
The main common sense solution that alliance is fighting for is to make background checks mandatory for private sellers – for example those operating at gun shows and online.
They've done this through Initiative 594, which is set to be voted on in November as citizens take to the ballot. The initiative, which did not pass the state legislature earlier this year, will likely have better luck at the polls. According to the alliance, 7 out of 10 Washington voters support it.
Initiative 594 would "makes sure that anyone buying a gun in Washington State passes the same background check, no matter where they buy the gun and no matter whom they buy it from," apart from noted exceptions like gifts between family members and for antique firearms.
“We believe it will be an effective and balanced approach to improving gun safety in our state by closing existing loopholes for background checks,” said the Gates' in a statement.
Other high-profile names to donate big bucks to this cause? According to public disclosures, Paul Allen donated a half a million dollars earlier this month, as did Steve Ballmer.
Bill & Melinda Gates have donated to this cause in smaller amounts before, but $1 million, although not a sizable percentage of their net worth, signals that this is an issue about which they care deeply.
Gates was most recently seen dumping ice water on himself for ALS.
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