Today, Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee, signed a gun control package that includes a ban on “assault weapons”.
“No one needs an AR-15 to protect your family. You only need it to kill other families,” said Inslee, with no evidence whatsoever.
Inslee’s words sound much like those of the New Jersey Attorney General’s office in attempting to suppress lawful concealed carry by presumptively assuming criminal activity of law-abiding gun owners (see our coverage of the March oral arguments in the “carry-killer” case).
Firearms Policy Coalition, a Second Amendment rights group, immediately filed suit against Washington State. In an announcement on their social media pages, they wrote:
“Before Governor Inslee’s signature had a chance to dry, we filed a federal lawsuit, Hartford v. Ferguson, challenging the Washington “Assault Weapon” Ban.”
In their complaint, FPC wrote:
“The State of Washington has criminalized one of the most common and important means by which its citizens can exercise their fundamental right to self-defense. By banning manufacturing, importation, distribution, and sale of common semiautomatic rifles, the State has barred law-abiding residents from legally acquiring common rifles and has deprived them of an effective means of self-defense and their fundamental individual right to keep and bear arms.”
Washington State loathes the Second Amendment and this attack is becoming a pattern. In March of 2022, Inslee signed Senate Bill 5078, which made it illegal for any person in Washington to “manufacture, import, distribute, sell, or offer for sale any large capacity magazine” (which they define as more than 10 rounds).
FPC also filed suit against that law in a case called Sullivan v. Ferguson, which is currently in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.
There are now numerous attempts to legislatively ban so-called “assault weapons” being levied by liberal states, including:
- New York
- New Jersey
FPC, and others, have filed suit against these states and their unconstitutional laws See the full list of FPC lawsuits.
What these laws have in common is that they go against Supreme Court precedent protecting firearms that are in “common use” and virtually all of them fail to identify or define exactly what an “assault weapon” is in any meaningfully useful way.
Just a few days ago, the ATF director was unable to define an “assault weapon” when asked in a Congressional hearing.
We wish Washington State and others “good luck” in banning what they 1) can’t define 2) is in common use and 3) is an item whose lawful use is protected by the Constitution.
We will continue to cover this story.