One-Percenters Giving Millions to Bankroll Gun Control in Washington State

As the November elections draw closer, public contribution disclosures show that Bill and Melinda Gates have given a total of $1 million to support the passage of Washington state's Initiative 594 – a gun control initiative expanding background checks over private gun sales in Washington.

According to Public Disclosure Commission records, Bill Gates gave $500,000 on August 21, and his wife gave another $500,000 the same day. On August 19 Nicolas Hanauer is listed as giving $1 million as well. These million-dollar contributions are on top of the hundreds of thousands that one-percenters had contributed to Initiative 594 by August 17.

For example, Breitbart News reported Steve and Connie Ballmer gave $580,000 prior to August 17, and Hanauer had already given hundreds of thousands too. The AP reports that Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen gave "$500,000 earlier this month."

Gun-rights supporters are pushing Initiative 591 to counter 594.

591 would prevent "Washington state from adopting background-check laws that go beyond the national standard."

Lacking the support of one-percenters, Initiative 591 has received just over $1 million in total donations.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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