Bill & Melinda Gates Fund Gun Control Initiative, While Living With Armed Guards…

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, have donated $1 million to a Washington state campaign seeking to expand gun control measures in Washington state, bringing their coffers up to nearly $6 million dollars.

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The measure would require background checks for all gun sales and transfers in Washington state, including at gun shows and for private sales.

In a joint written statement issued Monday, the couple said that they believe I-594 “will be an effective and balanced approach to improving gun safety in our state by closing existing loopholes for background checks.”

The large donation comes on the heels of fellow Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s $500,000 donation earlier this month. Also last week, venture capitalist Nick Hanauer donated an additional $1 million, bring his total donation to the campaign to nearly $1.4 million.

Other prominent figures who have made large donations to the campaign include former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his wife, Connie, who have given $580,000.

A gun rights campaign, Initiative 591, would prevent the state from adopting background-check laws that go beyond the national standard, which requires the checks for sales by licensed dealers but not for purchases from private sellers. That campaign has raised just over $1 million so far.