As members of a Jewish community that has been harmed by gun violence, we support Initiative 594. Anyone wishing to acquire a firearm in Washington State should first pass a criminal and public safety background check. Right now, our State’s current requirement applies only to licensed gun dealers while leaving significant loopholes that can allow criminals and other dangerous people to obtain guns. I-594 makes our state's gun laws consistent by extending background checks to cover all private sales and transfers, at gun shows and through the Internet – with exceptions for firearms given as gifts between immediate family members, collected for antiques and for hunting

Our support for firearms background checks rises from our moral obligation to protect ourselves, and others. Jewish tradition teaches that pikuach nefesh – saving a life – takes precedence over all other obligations. We must lessen harm, reduce violence, and “not stand idly by the blood of our neighbor (Leviticus 19:16).”

Jewish Organizations Endorsing I-594
The Anti-Defamation League, Bet Alef, Congregation Beth Shalom, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Family Service, Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, Kavana Cooperative, Kol HaNeshamah, National Council of Jewish Women, Stroum Jewish Community Center, Temple Beth Am, Temple Beth Hatfiloh, Temple Beth Or, Temple B’Nai Torah, Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Tikvah Chadashah, Herzl Ner Tamid, Temple Beth El and the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center.

We pledge to vote YES on I-594!