A former City Council member in Bellevue, Washington, has been accused of stealing campaign signs urging voters to block the expansion of background checks for gun buyers in the state, police said on Wednesday.
A police report said Margot Blacker, a longtime local fixture of the political left who served on City Council from 1989 to 1997, admitted taking the signs last week because she believed pro-gun groups had stolen her signs promoting tougher firearms laws.
Blacker, 74, is a proponent of Initiative 594, a state ballot measure that would expand background checks on guy buyers to include private sales and transfers of weapons. The measure is expected to pass during the November election.
The campaign signs she is accused of stealing urge a “yes” vote on an opposing measure, Initiative 591, which would bar the state from expanding background checks unless the federal government does so first.
The Citizen’s Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and Protect Our Gun Rights, which supports Initiative 591, has asked that Bellevue prosecutors pursue criminal charges.
Blacker could be charged with third-degree theft, a felony offense that carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $500 fine, Bellevue police said. The former council member could not immediately be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Steve Gorman and Peter Cooney)