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Gabrielle Giffords to testify in support of Washington state background check bill

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona will be in Olympia to testify in favor of an initiative to require universal background checks on all firearm sales in Washington state.

The Seattle Times reported Monday that Giffords, who survived being shot in the head at a public appearance in Tucson in 2011, will testify in support of Initiative 594 before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday afternoon. Giffords' husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, will accompany her to the hearing.

This session lawmakers also will consider Initiative 591, which would prevent Washington state from adopting background-check laws stricter than the national standard, which requires the checks for sales by licensed dealers but not for purchases from private sellers. It would also prohibit confiscation of firearms without due process.

If lawmakers take no action, both proposals would proceed to the November ballot. Lawmakers can also offer up another option to run alongside the initiative.

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