On Monday, a judge in Washington ruled that the state’s ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines is unconstitutional. Despite the ruling, the law will remain in effect for now due to an emergency order issued by the state Supreme Court.

Violation of Constitutional Rights

According to a report by the Seattle Times, Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Gary Bashor ruled that the ban imposed by Washington state lawmakers on sales of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds violates not only the state constitution but also the U.S. constitutions.

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Judge Bashor issued an immediate injunction to halt enforcement of the ban that came into effect in 2022.

No Justifiable Grounds For The Ban

Referring to the Founding Fathers of the United States, Bashor wrote, “There was no appetite to limit gun rights by the Founders. Though the specific technology available today may not have been envisioned, the Founders expected technological advancements.”

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Bashor added, “The result is few, if any, historical analogue laws by which a state can justify a modern firearms regulation.”

Washington’s Attorney General Doesn’t Agree With Bashor’s Decision

Bashor issued an injunction that would have halted the state from further enforcing the ban and permitted stores to once again start selling high-capacity magazines.

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However, the Attorney General of Washington, Bob Ferguson, promptly appealed to the state Supreme Court, describing Bashor’s decision as “incorrect” and arguing that the ban is “essential to addressing mass shootings in our communities.”

Ferguson Believes The Law Imposing the Ban “Saves Lives”

Ferguson issued a statement on Monday asserting that the law imposing the ban is necessary for saving lives.

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Ferguson said, “This law saves lives, and I will continue to defend it.”

Emergency Stay Has Been Granted

In response to Ferguson’s appeal, Washington state’s Supreme Court commissioner granted an emergency stay, keeping the ban in effect while the state appeals Bashor’s decision.

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Monday’s ruling followed Attorney General Ferguson’s lawsuit against Gator’s Guns in Kelso, Washington. The store was allegedly selling high-capacity magazines even after the ban was enacted. Gator’s Guns has defended itself by challenging the very constitutionality of the law.

Firearm Regulation in the U.S.

Bashor referenced the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Bruen case, where the majority ruled that gun laws should remain in alignment with the historical tradition of firearm regulation in the nation.

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According to Bashor, Washington failed to cite a law from the same era as the adoption of the Second Amendment to justify the ban.

Gottlieb Believes Ferguson “Shot Himself In The Foot”

In a statement released to Fox News, Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), said, “Looks like Attorney General Ferguson shot himself in the foot when he went after the gun store for not complying with an unconstitutional gun law.”

Source: Wikimedia/Joe Mabel

While SAF is not directly involved in the high-capacity magazine case, it is currently suing Washington over another law that bans “assault weapons.”

Courts Protecting the Government

Adam Kraut, the Executive Director of SAF expressed his disappointment over how swiftly the higher court stayed Judge Bashor’s order.

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Kraut said in a statement, “It seems more often than not, courts step in to protect Government quickly, but do not provide the same speed in reviewing the constitutionality of the challenge laws.”

Citizens Being Deprived of Their Rights

Kraut said, “Washingtonians continue to be deprived of their constitutional rights while this case proceeds.”

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Defending the law, Ferguson, on the other hand, said, “Every court in Washington and across the country to consider challenges to a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines under the U.S. or Washington Constitution has either rejected that challenge or been overruled. This law is constitutional.”

Many Businesses Have Been Targeted

The law banning the sale of high-capacity magazines was adopted in 2022 at the behest of Democrat lawmakers at the time.

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Since the implementation of the law, Ferguson’s office has pursued multiple businesses accusing them of illegally selling high-capacity magazines.

Bashor Believes Mass Shootings Are “Not An Unprecedented Societal Concern

Bashor wrote that even though the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech was “widely publicized,” the U.S. Supreme Court nevertheless chose to broaden the protection offered by the Second Amendment the following year.

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According to Bashor, “The Washington legislature has found that gun violence and mass shootings are on the increase. The problem, however, is not an unprecedented societal concern.”

Ferguson Believes Even A Temporary Pause In The Enforcement of The Law Can Be Harmful

In his emergency appeal, Ferguson presented the argument that even a temporary pause in the enforcement of the ban would likely lead to high-capacity magazines flooding the Washington stores.

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Earlier this year, a gun shop called Federal Way and the owner of the store settled a lawsuit with Ferguson by agreeing to pay $3 million for violating the ban.

The Debatable Nature of Issues

While granting Ferguson’s emergency appeal, Michael Johnston, the commissioner of Washington State Supreme Court, wrote, “the debatable nature of the factual and legal issues raised in this case, and the public safety issues concerning the proliferation of large capacity magazines.”

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Bashor brushed aside the state’s argument, “the enduring tradition of firearms regulation” satisfies the requirements of Bruen and justifies the ban. The state also argued that gun violence and mass shootings are “an unprecedented societal concern.”

The Logical Flaw Behind The Ban

In the 55-page ruling, Bashor wrote, “It is logically inconceivable that an item that is constitutionally protected to possess could be prohibited from sale to the very people who have the protected right to possess.”

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Pete Serrano, a Silent Majority Foundation Attorney, lauded Bashor’s ruling as being extremely thorough.