Gun rights group files lawsuit calling state’s ban on large-capacity ammunition clips 'unconstitutional'

On the first day of the "Wear Orange" weekend, a national campaign to raise awareness of gun violence, a lawsuit was filed challenging Washington state’s new ban on large capacity ammunition magazine sales.

Bellevue’s Second Amendment Foundation and others filed the lawsuit in federal district court, claiming the ban signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Jay Inslee violates the Second and Fourth Amendments of the US Constitution.

"This is going to be real difficult to enforce," said Dave Workman, the chief editor for the Foundation.

The law goes into effect on July 1 and would ban any new sales of semi-automatic rifles and pistons that include a clip of more than 10 rounds and the sale of new or used magazines sold separately if the clip holds more than 10 rounds.

"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," Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation said in a press release.

The lawsuit names Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and several county sheriffs as defendants.


Washington Senate passes ban on sales of high-capacity gun ammunition

The Washington state Senate has voted to ban the manufacture, distribution and sale of firearm magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

"I have not seen the lawsuit," Ferguson said while attending an Alliance for Gun Responsibility event on Friday.

"We feel very confident that we will successfully defend high capacity magazines adopted by the legislature for two reasons," Ferguson said. "Courts across the country have upheld similar bans and frankly, we have a better legal team and legal advocates than the Second Amendment Foundation has."

Workman says the ban is selective enforcement because thousands of gun owners with large capacity magazine clips bought before July 1 will still be allowed to keep and use them.

"Magazines do not have serial numbers like guns do," Workman told FOX 13 News. "There's no way to track when a magazine was purchased and how long somebody has owned it."

"There is no reliable proof that restrictions on new manufacturing or sales of such magazines will reduce violent crime," said Gottlieb.

In a related issue, Ferguson said his office is having conversations with state lawmakers regarding the ‘pre-emptive’ right the state has regarding gun laws.

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell has said publicly several times that he would like state lawmakers to give cities the ability to put restrictions on guns on a city-wide level.

Harrell has said he’d like to have Seattle Police officers confiscate guns in the possession of an intoxicated individual within the city limits or limit the possession of guns in city parks.

"I think you are going to see a conversation in the state legislature this upcoming session on whether to change those laws around pre-emption," Ferguson said. "There are conversations about that going on in my office and with legislators."