Washington sues gun shop over high-capacity magazine sales

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing a Federal Way gun shop, saying it unlawfully sold high-capacity magazines to investigators during a compliance operation.

Federal Way Discount Guns was one of just two gun stores — out of 25 tested across the state — that failed to comply with the law, Ferguson said Wednesday. The store did not immediately return an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Lawmakers adopted the ban on high-capacity magazines this year at Ferguson’s request, and the sting was the first effort by his office to enforce compliance.

"Our sweep confirmed that the overwhelming majority of gun retailers in Washington are doing the right thing and complying with the law," Ferguson said in a written statement. "In contrast, Federal Way Discount Guns chose to violate a law that makes our communities safer."

Ferguson’s office did not immediately disclose the other store that failed to comply with the law, saying that investigation remains ongoing.

According to the attorney general’s office, investigators visited Federal Way Discount Guns four times from August to November, observing a wall of high-capacity magazines for sale. A clerk or the store’s owner, Mohammed Reza Baghai, sold investigators nine such magazines — including a 50-round drum magazine, two 30-round magazines for an AR-15 style rifle and a 33-round magazine for a Glock 17 pistol, Ferguson said.

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During each sale, a store representative destroyed the record of sale or made comments suggesting they knew the sale was illegal, he said.

Ferguson sued the store and its owner in King County Superior Court, seeking an injunction that would block the store from selling high-capacity magazines. The defendants face a maximum penalty of $7,500 for every time the store offered a high-capacity magazine for sale and $7,500 for every actual sale, Ferguson said.

The attorney general said he would also seek the destruction of the store’s inventory of high-capacity magazines.