BELLEVUE, WA – While their extremist gun control campaign is being largely funded by less than a dozen wealthy elitists, proponents of Initiative 1639 are feigning desperation in an effort to raise small donations to create the appearance of a populist movement, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

“This week,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “backers of the gun control initiative just got a $600,000 windfall from two billionaire couples and New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s gun control lobbying group to pass I-1639. Yet, they sent a mass email begging for donations while complaining that the real grassroots opposition to I-1639 is spending ‘big’ money to fight the measure. What they’re not saying is that they have raised and spent ten times as much money to push their draconian scheme.

“It’s disingenuous,” Gottlieb observed, “deceptive and dishonest. But, what else is new about anti-gunners?”

According to the state Public Disclosure Commission, the cash came from billionaires Steve and Connie Ballmer, and Nick and Leslie Hanauer, each donating $100,000 apiece. Another $200,000 came from Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. In total, the Ballmers have donated $1.2 million, the Hanauers another $1,426,036, and Everytown has contributed $509,500. Add the $1,226,036 contributed by the late Paul Allen and the $100,000 each from Lenore Hanauer, Sibyl Frankenburg and Steven Kessel and it comes to a grand total of $4,661,572 of the $5,139,797.43 that the Safe Schools Safe Communities group sponsoring I-1639 has raised.

“Roughly 85 to 90 percent of the I-1639 funding has come from a handful of elitists who are determined to dictate how others live,” Gottlieb said, “and it bares the hypocrisy of I-1639 sponsors who complain about ‘out-of-state’ money influencing local gun policy. It’s time to stop this demagoguery and tell these billionaires that our self-defense rights, our medical privacy and the Second Amendment are not for sale.”

“Their fund raising appeal conveniently ignored the fact that Washington state’s rank-and-file law enforcement organizations are uniformly opposed to I-1639,” he continued. “That includes members of the Washington State Patrol Troopers Association, Washington State Sheriffs Association, Washington Council of Police & Sheriffs, Washington State Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association and Washington Fraternal Order of Police.

“You can support the effort to beat this initiative by visiting the ‘Vote No’ website,” Gottlieb added.