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Giffords aids push for Wash. background checks

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By Mike Baker
Associated Press
OLYMPIA-- Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is pressing Washington state lawmakers to support a bill that would expand background checks on gun sales.
Giffords made a call Monday to Republican. Rep. Maureen Walsh of Walla Walla, telling her to "be strong" in support of the measure. It didn't seem to be helping. Walsh initially supported the background checks bill but has since withdrawn her support, saying she doesn't think it will help stop gun violence.
Giffords was severely wounded in a mass shooting in January 2011 while meeting with constituents in Arizona.
Supporters of a bill to expand checks on gun sales are counting votes in the Washington state House.
Gun buyers currently must undergo a background check if they purchase a weapon from a federally licensed firearms dealer. The bill would expand that requirement to private sales.
Story tags » Legislature

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