BELLEVUE, WA – Gun rights advocate Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and a leading opponent of Initiative 594, today is publicly challenging billionaire gun control supporter Bill Gates to debate the measure, to which he just donated $1 million.

“It’s time for Gates to put his mouth where his money is,” Gottlieb said. “It’s one thing to be for background checks, but I-594 is poorly written bad law, and all the money in the world won’t make it better.”

Gates made headlines earlier this week when it was reported that he and his wife, Melinda, had contributed a million dollars to the campaign to pass I-594. That’s the 18-page gun control initiative that is opposed by rank-and-file law enforcement organizations representing more than 7,500 police and sheriffs’ deputies, plus the state’s sportsmen and women, competitors and gun collectors.

Gates is one of a handful of wealthy Seattle-area elitists who have shelled out big bucks to push this measure. The campaign has become a battle of class warfare, pitting the rich against Washington State’s far-less-privileged middle class firearms owners, and their families and friends.

“If Gates accepts,” Gottlieb said, “I expect him to explain why he thinks I-594 is such a hot idea when the Washington Council of Police and Sheriffs, and the Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association – the largest and most highly-respected law enforcement groups in the state – oppose the measure. He will also have to explain why both organizations emphatically support Initiative 591.

“Bill Gates and his billionaire friends Paul Allen, Steve Ballmer and Nick Hanauer are using their riches in an effort to buy an election,” he continued. “They will purchase slick advertising, buy professional spokesmen and try to steamroll their opponents. But Gates should speak for himself, and be willing to defend his position one-on-one.

“Gates should also make sure that if he accepts, his bodyguards do not loan each other firearms, because that would be prohibited under the language of the gun control initiative he’s funding,” Gottlieb concluded. “I won’t bring bodyguards, because I don’t have any. My defense is the facts.”