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Fromt the Mountain States Legal Foundation . . .

The American People have a natural, constitutionally protected right to choose the self-defense tools they need to protect their lives and loved ones.

To uphold that right, a group of plaintiffs represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation’s Center to Keep and Bear Arms (CKBA) and Cooper & Kirk, PLLC, is suing the State of Washington in federal court.  They’re challenging Washington’s ban on the sale, import, distribution, and manufacture of firearm magazines able to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition—an unconstitutional enactment that threatens life and liberty in the Evergreen State.

On June 3, CKBA’s clients filed their complaint against Washington Attorney General Robert Ferguson in the Western District of Washington, seeking to have the magazine ban declared unconstitutional and to prevent its enforcement.

The parties bringing the lawsuit are:

  • Ellie Sullivan, a nurse and longtime Washington resident concerned for her safety amid recent surging violence;
  • Rainier Arms, a business specializing in high-end tactical rifles, pistols, and shotguns founded by John Hwang.  John has been an outspoken member of the firearms community for decades and is committed to ensuring individuals have access to the tools they need to effectively defend their lives and loved ones; and
  • Firearms Policy Coalition and the Second Amendment Foundation, two nonprofit organizations whose members’ rights are infringed by Washington’s ban.

CKBA has joined as co-counsel with Cooper & Kirk in challenging the ban.

With the passage of SB 5078 in March 2022, Washington outlawed the sale, import, distribution, and manufacture of what it derisively deems “large capacity” firearm magazines (more accurately described as average capacity).

While Washington falsely tries to brand these devices as a tool of criminals, they are legal in a vast majority of states and owned by millions of peaceable Americans.  These magazines are not the boogeyman that Washington and gun control activists try to make them out to be, but rather are owned by everyday people—from nurses to competitive shooters.

Washington tries to present its magazine ban as a “public safety” measure.  But taking away the People’s choice of arms will give criminals the upper hand, CKBA Director Cody J. Wisniewski noted.  A correct application of Supreme Court precedent, from both the Heller and McDonald decisions, demonstrates that Washington’s ban violates the People’s Second Amendment protected rights.

“It is up to the People to decide how best to protect their lives and the lives of their loved ones and their communities—not politicians sitting at the state house in Olympia surrounded by armed security,” Wisniewski said.  “Our clients represent the millions of peaceable Washingtonians who merely wish to exercise their right to protect themselves.”

“Washington is trampling on the People’s right to choose the self-defense tools they need.  The State’s magazine ban puts peaceable citizens in danger, leaving them to the mercy of violent criminals if those citizens run out of ammunition in an emergency.”

“This case isn’t about a specific number.  This case is about individual rights versus overreaching state power.  Put simply, the State of Washington does not have the power to tread upon Washingtonians’ right to effectively defend their lives and the lives of their loved ones.”

To learn more please see the case page here.
To watch a video Press release click here.

For information or questions about this case please reach out to the MSLF Communications team at [email protected]

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10 COMMENTS

  1. With the current condition of our injustice system, are we getting anywhere with court cases or are we just being bled dry?
    Asking for a friend……

    • Good question. Why are we wasting time and money fighting an illegal law? The 2A is not a government granted right so Washington cannot limit something they did not even grant. It’s like saying you cannot use these words for 1A. By fighting this illegal law , we are giving the state legitimacy for something that is not. Civil disobedience is what needs to happen. Unless gun owners want to fight back peacefully be prepared to bend over and touch your toes while the state of Washington hits you harder.

      • “Unless gun owners want to fight back peacefully…”

        That’s what the lawsuit is.

        Your distinction, whereas I agree with it, is only valid if the “other side” will respect you and your rights. Clearly this is not the case.

        At some point they will “come to your door” (carrying the same equipment they want to take from you), take your stuff (and/or you) and it will be on you to defend yourself again a monolith that is using (your) unlimited tax dollars to crush you.

        Not saying we shouldn’t try, just being realistic.

        Hot brass.

    • As long as omni-directional Gun Owners continue failing to define Gun Control by its history Gun Control has standing. Look at it…Gun Control is the go-to because many Americans are politically inept history illiterates who have no clue Gun Control in any shape, matter or form is rooted in racism and genocide.

      In other words…Anyone who supports Gun Control might as well hang a noose and swastika on their front door.

  2. WA is in the 9th Circuit, so this issue has already been decided against gun owners. Still, there’s a reason I can see for doing this now:

    Anticipation of a favorable ruling at the Supreme Court in either NYSRPA v. Bruen or Duncan v. Bonta.

    If there’s already a case against WA pending, the plaintiffs can simply make a motion for summary judgement based on the Supreme Court ruling if it clearly denounces magazine bans.

    The theory is that the Supreme Court has been sitting on Bonita because their Bruen ruling will cover be broad enough to encompass the CA mag ban at issue there. Since it’s due to be announced within the month, this could speed the striking down of the WA ban.

    Still, IDK why no one tried at state court. The WA constitution is supposedly more restrictive than the federal one when it comes to gun rights, so this should have been ripe for a state challenge

  3. I don’t see this going favorably.

    Phrases like “best defensive tool” and “law abiding” would be something to consider IF we were able to discuss this topic with reason, understanding, and compassion. But we (mainly the left, the latter probably the right too) aren’t.

    So if we aren’t dealing with someone we can debate with, we should drop the garbage about how we could be harmed by the laws, and instead say “its an infringement on my god given rights, prove otherwise”.

    Yes, not going to always win with that, but we certainly haven’t won a ton of high level cases that hinged off of personal safety.

    Gun owners need to start realizing they are law abiding only as long as they feel compelled to follow the ever changing laws. Civil disobedience needs to become the norm for mandatory background checks, magazine transfer/possession, “it’s a pistol but now it’s not but it is and this firearm part is a machine gun” and a host of other arbitrary and unconstitutional rules and laws. At some point law enforcement is going to have to choose sides. Destroy otherwise law abiding families who aren’t bothering anyone, or go after those that are causing harm to others. Or go after no one, because DAs are not choosing to charge offenders equally.

    And yes, while I’ve had the discussion with others here that their LEO friends would not enforce things such as red flag laws, I’ve also had discussions with LEOs that say they have to follow orders, the fight should always be in court (absolving them of their part in stripping people’s God given rights), and red flag laws follow due process.

  4. AFTER 22LR 15 , 20 ROUND , ENOUGHT ,, LARGER CALIBER 10 ROUNDS PLENTY .
    YEA BAN LARGE CALIBER MAGAZINES OVER 10 ROUNDS….
    WANT MORE JOIN THE MILITARY ….

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