Judge rejects attempt to block new Washington state gun restrictions

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday denied a request to block a new Washington state law banning the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles, one of three measures recently signed by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee with the aim of reducing armed violence.

The law, which took effect immediately when Inslee signed it in April, prohibits the sale, distribution, manufacture and import of more than 50 types of firearms, including AR-type rifles and AK. The measure does not prohibit the possession of such weapons by persons who already possess them.

It prompted a swift legal challenge from two gun rights groups — the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation and the Sacramento, Calif.-based Firearms Policy Coalition — as well as gun owners. guns and a dealer. They sought a court order blocking the law pending trial on the merits of their claim that it violated their constitutional right to bear arms.

“Given the exceptional dangerousness of these weapons, the public interest in their state regulation outweighs the plaintiffs’ desire to purchase more assault weapons,” said U.S. District Judge Robert Brian in Tacoma. “In light of the recent mass deaths caused by assailants using assault weapons, government agencies should find ways to protect the public from dangerous weapons, within the confines of the Second Amendment.”

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling last June expanded gun rights, dividing judges and confusing what restrictions can stay on the books. He made it more explicit that gun laws must conform to the “historic tradition of gun regulation”.

Bryan found that the state ban was part of the nation’s long history of regulating dangerous weapons, including colonial-era bans on “trap guns” that could be fired without the presence of the owner. Other historical targets for regulation include long-bladed Bowie knives and the Thompson submachine gun, or Tommy gun, popular with gangsters in the years following World War I.

Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, both Democrats, pushed for the Democratic-controlled legislature to pass a ban on many semi-automatic weapons this session after years of failed attempts, making Washington the 10th state to enact such a law.

“This common-sense gun reform will save lives by restricting access to the weapon of choice for mass shooters,” Ferguson said in a news release Tuesday.

The United States is setting a record killing spree this year, according to a database maintained by the Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University.

“We are disappointed with the court’s decision but remain steadfast in our fight and defense of the people’s natural right to self-defense,” Firearms Policy Coalition attorney Cody J. Wisniewski said in a mailed statement. electronic.

The other two laws Inslee signed imposed a 10-day waiting period for gun purchases and paved the way for lawsuits against gun manufacturers or sellers in certain cases.

A federal lawsuit is underway in Oregon challenging a voter-approved measure that requires residents to complete safety training and background checks to obtain a license to purchase a firearm.

Voters narrowly passed it last November. The legislation also prohibits the sale, transfer or import of firearm magazines with more than 10 rounds, unless they belong to a member of law enforcement or the military or were owned by before the measure is adopted.

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