US District Court Judge Paves the Way for Washington I-1639 Lawsuit

washington i-1639 i1639

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Last year, Washington State voters approved a raft of gun control measures collectively known as I-1639. It was a wide-ranging group of Second Amendment infringements including a minimum age of 21 to purchase semi-automatic long guns, “enhanced” background checks, 10-day waiting periods and more.

I-1639 got millions of dollars in support from — surprise! — a brace of hoplophobic billionaires.

As soon as it became law, 1639 was challenged in court by the NRA and Second Amendment Foundation. Supporters of law moved to have the challenge dismissed, claiming plaintiffs didn’t have standing because they hadn’t violated the law and been charged with a crime.

Now a US District Court Judge has ruled that the lawsuit can go forward. Here’s the Second Amendment Foundation’s press release trumpeting the ruling . . .

BELLEVUE, WA – A U.S. District Court judge in Tacoma has denied a motion by defendants to dismiss a federal lawsuit challenging Washington State’s gun control Initiative 1639, ruling that law-abiding gun owners and firearms retailers do not have to violate the law and risk punishment in order to challenge infringements of the Second Amendment.

SAF and NRA are joined by two gun dealers, one in Spokane and the other in Clark County, plus four young adults who are directly affected by provisions of the initiative.

U.S. District Court Judge Ronald B. Leighton handed down the decision.

“The long delay is over,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The important aspects of the motion to dismiss have been denied. Just as important, the judge’s ruling treats the Second Amendment as any other fundamental individual right that is constitutionally protected.”

The federal lawsuit challenges provisions of the controversial, multi-faceted initiative on the grounds that it violates the commerce clause by banning sales of rifles to non-residents, and that it unconstitutionally impairs the rights guaranteed by the First, Second and Fourteenth Amendments, and Article I Section 24 of the Washington State constitution by preventing the sale of certain rifles to otherwise qualified adults under age 21.

The 30-page gun control measure was passed in November. Under its provisions, young adults under age 21 can no longer purchase semiautomatic rifles of any type or caliber, because they all fall within the overly broad definition of a “semiautomatic assault rifle” as contained in initiative language. The measure also requires a 10-day waiting period, so-called “enhanced background checks” and a fee to pay for additional paperwork, plus other provisions.

“Our supporters have been asking for months about the lawsuit’s progress,” Gottlieb said. “Now we can report that the long wait for a ruling on the motion to dismiss is over, and we won the first round. And now the state, and the initiative proponents, are on the defensive.”

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 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.

comments

  1. avatar Robert Powell says:

    almost all of the legal system in washington state are socialist or marxist, the so-called governor, the state atty general both are practicing marxist idiots. the results of the seattle gun-laws are for the most part illegal according to the constitution. THESE COCKROACHES COULD CARE LESS. they are pushing all the gun owners out of the picture. just more BRAIN-LESS DEMOCOMMIES.

    1. avatar Chris says:

      yeah, bbbbbut bbbump stocks, so we should all stay home and give the other side everything.

      1. avatar FiftycalTX says:

        Awwwwwwwwwwwww does snookems miss his widdle bumpy stock? Did you like to curl up on the sofa with it to keep you warm? Did you have a bumpy stock for every rifle, pistol and shotgun you had? Where on bump stock hill do you want to be buried? Maybe you can adapt an airsoft to a bumpy stock so you can play war?

    2. avatar Clark Kent says:

      The legal system east of the Cascades is neither Marxist nor socialist. Where do you live, Detroit?

      1. avatar Jermaine Race says:

        “The legal system east of the Cascades is neither Marxist nor socialist.”

        It’s also almost completely politically invisible to the rest of the country, including the Puget sound. It might as well be Idaho.

      2. avatar Robert Powell says:

        WHEN the seattle socialists are the pushers for the socialist marxist cows in the senate and house , we stand very slim chance of even getting our emails to them read. the anti american stand of the city council and the congressional reps for the communist side of the mountains all have the same lean towards communism/marxist ideals . the eastern washington side of the table ,evidently do not have the bullshit and bravado that the group of socialists in seattle do. when you email a congressWOMAN in seattle if you get any reply it is a form-letter telling you to go pound sand…

    3. avatar George says:

      Dis-Armed America 101: Crooked Corrupt Politicians Fear Patriotic Constitutional loving Citizens…..
      Dis-Armed Patriotic Citizens=No Fear

  2. avatar Ralph says:

    This bill of goods was passed by popular vote in Washington, proving that de Tocqueville was correct:

    “A man’s support for absolute government is in direct proportion to the contempt he feels for his country.”

    The state should be embarrassed to bear such a great name.

    1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

      “The state should be embarrassed to bear such a great name.”

      That hurts because it’s true. 🙁

      1. avatar Dani in WA says:

        I find it ironic; George Washington would be rolling in his grave.

    2. avatar barnbwt says:

      Hmm, so an ideology based on self-hatred is rather self-serving to those would-be dictators, isn’t it…

    3. avatar Sgt Bill says:

      Two counties (think Seattle, Tacoma Olympia) are overly liberal and dominate state politics. The Eastern side of Washington is just “western Idaho” and some of the most pro-gun, liberty loving people you could ever meet.

      1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

        Looks like a case for a lawsuit demanding re-districting. A play from the socialist democrats playbook.

        1. avatar Clark Kent says:

          You can’t ‘redistrict’ western Washington to be conservative, any more than you can ‘redistrict’ eastern Washington to be liberal. Nice try; no cigar.

        2. avatar Ing says:

          Well, there’s this: https://libertystate.org/. More like a divorce than redistricting, and not likely to succeed, but it’s worth a shot.

          Eastern WA is like a completely different state. I-1639 failed on east side by the same margin that it succeeded statewide. Two-thirds of this state’s geographical area — and all of our constitutional rights — are being trampled by a handful of billionaires and a horde of emotionally incontinent progbots in three urban counties on the west side.

          What can’t go on, won’t. It’s past time we exercised some control over what does and doesn’t go on.

      2. avatar Dani in WA says:

        That would be three counties: King, Pierce, and Thurston.

        1. avatar Skeeter says:

          There are some other left leaning counties, Whatcom, Clallam and Jefferson I believe.

    4. avatar dph says:

      This from a guy who lives in Massachusetts, glass houses, stones, all that shit.

  3. avatar Boyd says:

    The lawsuit is in Federal court on federal issues, so if there’s appeal it ends at SCOTUS not a Washington state court. SAF’s pretty good at this kind of thing… you can read the decision at https://www.saf.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Dkt-044-Order-on-Motions-to-Dismiss.pdf

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      Well, that’s gonna save time… 🙂

  4. avatar Stateisevil says:

    If I’ve learned one thing over the years studying the legal system in Amerika: 95% of the time the courts just rubber stamp whatever infringements the legislature, executive, or tax cows pass. I predict all major provisions will be upheld. Because guns. Because the 2nd amendment is a 2nd class right and always will be because the people responsible are not held accountable for their treason. Until they are, “gun control” will continue to advance. In places like Washington, quite quickly.

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      Stick to predicting lottery numbers; you will have better luck.

  5. avatar NORDNEG says:

    Wash , Ore, & Cali, are now & for quite some time have been run by overzealous Democrats,,, there is your answer to what’s wrong with these states…
    The I-5 corridor runs all three states, where all the loser liberals hang out for all the freebies the government hands out…💩

    1. avatar Joe says:

      Indeed, Nordneg. Who would have thought that sh** could roll uphill.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        Well, there’s so much of it in California that it squeezes out under pressure.

  6. avatar Swarf says:

    1639 should have been tossed before it started for a number of reasons, among them the fact that signature gatherers lied about the contents of the Measure, or mislead people about which Initiative they were signing.

    It’s also 30 pages long, virtually guaranteeing that thing vast majority of people didn’t read the thing before signing it, and only signed it on the word of the paid sig gatherers, who were documented liars.

    It never should have gone up for a vote.

    1. avatar joefoam says:

      That was my understanding as well, that the bill was so long and complicated voters didn’t really know what they were voting for, of course it didn’t help that the petitioners collecting signatures misrepresented the measure. I’m surprised that the court actually went along with the SAF. Now I’ll have to send them more money for their good work.

    2. avatar CarlosT says:

      It initially lost in court, but the Washington state Supreme Court let it pass. Just one more demonstration than this state is not governed by rule of law. You can be certain that the same law will be rigorously applied if it is useful to challenge an initiative the Seattle area populous doesn’t like.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        Exactly. The initiative was CLEARLY in violation of the laws that specify how everything is to be done, but mysteriously no one could find the authority to toss it out.

        If it wasn’t clear before, it became clear then that this state is lost. Progressivism is a progressive disease, and it is fast reaching a terminal stage in the Puget Sound urban areas and the state government.

        Eastern Washington is still okay; it’s like living in a different state. Hence the movement to make the difference official and permanent: https://libertystate.org/. The odds are long, but It’s time to lop off the gangrenous flesh before we end up like California.

        1. avatar Dani in WA says:

          Can we add Mason County to Liberty? 🙂

  7. avatar Demoncrats says:

    Just call the gun control measures what they are “2d Amendment assault language”.

  8. avatar GS650G says:

    The background checks are bad enough but classifying a Ruger 10/22 as an assault rifle is insane.

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      Ruger 10/22? What Ruger 10/22? Never heard of such a firearm.

      1. avatar Geoff "It's always good to turn a troll into a fun punch-toy" PR says:

        https://ruger.com/products/1022/overview.html

        My goodness, you’re a very special kind of stupid, aren’t you? 🙂

        The quality of the trolls in TTAG is crap, nowadays…

  9. avatar Buff cousin Elroy says:

    Washington used to be such a nice place. Watching this state slowly turn to a commie shithole/heroin-heaven over the years is a pain that cuts deep. Keep doing what you do SAF, we need it.

    1. avatar Dani in WA says:

      I’ve heard that a lot from locals since moving to WA from CA a couple years ago. I campaigned against I-1639 trying to warn Washingtonians not to Californicate this beautiful place. Alas.

    2. avatar ROBERT Powell says:

      today our socialist idiot governor just made the state a sanctuary state , no cooperation with the feds on illegals, and this communist fool wants to be PRESIDENT? the socialists have destroyed the integrity of this state and the communist idiots in seattle gov. are pushing for more laws that are against the constitution ..

  10. avatar Political gristle says:

    Stop glossing over the details of this garbage bill.
    Violates your HIPAA rights via signing the 4473 form.
    10 day wait for all firearms even if you possessor a CPL (pass a BG check to get one)
    Bans adults under 21 from owning semi auto rifles and pistols.
    Mandatory safe storage.
    Mandatory training cet. To buy firearms.
    Burdens local sheriff’s to perform enhanced BG checks. Instead of nics in call line.
    Good luck appealing a deny on your BG check.
    Even the atf is confused about the cluster fk.
    Don’t gloss over these points they are all equally bad.

  11. avatar Luke R says:

    One reason I moved out of Washington was I-1639. They illegally gathered signatures, it was demonstrably proven they had invalid signatures and illegal tactics to get it on the ballot. A court struck it off the ballot and was promptly overruled by activist judges who care about the ends and not the means.

    There’s no justice in Washington anymore, just cronyism and corruption.

  12. avatar Wally1 says:

    I-1639 doesn’t mean much in Eastern, WA. Sheriff’s Deputies and Police are not enforcing it because they know it is unconstitutional. They do not want be labeled as violating peoples rights and certainly do not want be involved in a test case. Almost no chance of prosecution or guilty verdict on a violation of I-1639 in Eastern Wa. Why is no one talking about Governor Jay Enslee and AG Bob Ferguson being involved in a criminal conspiracy to violate citizens 2nd, 4th and 14 amendment rights? I can only hope that when we win this battle we can refile in civil court and seek punitive damages against Inslee and Ferguson. probably never happen, but it’s good to dream.

  13. avatar raptor Jesus says:

    2af getting it done at the grassroots level while the NRA sits on their asses and pays their executives gross compensation (often through illegal means).

  14. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    Demanding that other, distant people live as you determine, imposed by force of arms used to be called “imperialism.”

    Who says tech-terlopers n fellow travellers in Seattle get to tell dirt farming agrarians a mountain range away what to do?

  15. avatar Bierce Ambrose says:

    States *joined* the U S, n territories *joined* states, because they thought it was good for them. Countries *joined* the E U for the same reason.

    I propose we rename them all to Hotel California; it’s more honest, at least.

  16. avatar ROBERT Powell says:

    with all of the californica and harryzona transplants up here we know the reason for the transfer was political. theairzona plate registered to latino’s are for the most part are from the drive-in registry of ILLEGALS FOR VOTING PURPOSES. californica and oregon ,the same reason.. un registered illegal voters . WE NEED A NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRY.. NO GREEN-CARD VOTERS, NO DRIVERS LISENSE VOTERS . NO DEATH CERTIFICATES VOTING … AND ABSOLUTELY NO PRIVATE OWNED VOTING MACHINES..SOROS..

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