Washington state’s Initiative 594, which seeks to a close loopholes in background check laws for gun purchases, just got some major support in the form of a $1 million donation from Microsoft co-founderBill Gates and his wife Melinda. The philanthropic couple disclosed Monday that they had contributed to the campaign, bringing the fundraising total above the $6 million mark ahead of this November’s election.
In addition to the Gates’ donation, the campaign has received a total of $1.4 million from original Amazon investor Nick Hanauer and $500,000 from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Former Microsoft CEO, and new owner of the L.A. Clippers, Steve Ballmer contributed $580,000.
“We are pleased to join many others making a donation to the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility to support Initiative 594 on the November ballot,” the Gates said in a joint statement. “We believe it will be an effective and balanced approach to improving gun safety in our state by closing existing loopholes for background checks.”
A poll from July showed support for the gun control initiative reaching 70% of potential voters. A competing measure, which would prohibit the state from adopting stricter background check standards than national laws dictate, had support from 46% of voters. Curiously, 32% of respondents said they would vote for both initiatives.