BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a federal lawsuit against Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and several other officials, challenging the state ban on so-called “large capacity magazines” for rifles and pistols. The case is known as Sullivan v. Ferguson.
Joining SAF in this legal action are the Firearms Policy Coalition, Inc., a California-based group; Rainier Arms, LLC and a private citizen, Gabriella Sullivan. They are represented by attorneys David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson and William V. Bergstrom with Cooper & Kirk PLLC in Washington, D.C., Cody J. Wisniewski at the Mountain States Legal Foundation, and locally by Joel Ard at Ard Law Group.
Besides Ferguson, defendants are Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste, King County Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall, Kitsap County Sheriff John Gese, Grays Harbor County Sheriff Rick Scott, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, Kitsap County Prosecutor Chad M. Enright and Grays Harbor County Prosecutor Katie Svoboda.
“We’re asking the court to declare Washington’s ban on original capacity magazines to be unconstitutional under the Second and Fourteenth amendments,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We want an injunction against the state because this ban criminalizes something that is common in a majority of states, and also leaves law-abiding Washington citizens more vulnerable to attack by ruthless criminals.”
Under provisions of a law passed earlier this year, Washington bans the future sale, importation, manufacture and distribution of ammunition magazines capable of holding more than ten cartridges. These are widely considered standard capacity magazines by manufacturers of firearms for which they are designed. The legislation was signed in March by Gov. Jay Inslee and takes effect July 1.
“Many of the most popular handguns and modern semiautomatic rifles come standard with magazines that hold more than ten rounds,” Gottlieb noted. “Such firearms are legally owned by Washington residents. As we note in the lawsuit, there is no reliable proof that restrictions on new manufacturing or sales of such magazines will reduce violent crime. This law unfairly and arbitrarily penalizes honest citizens for crimes they didn’t commit, in the hopes of preventing crimes they wouldn’t dream of committing.”
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 750,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.