FPC Sues Washington in Challenge to ‘Large Capacity’ Magazine Ban

Jul 5, 2022 | 0 comments

The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) and FPC Law today announced that it has filed a federal Second and Fourteenth Amendment lawsuit challenging the State of Washington’s unconstitutional ban on common firearm magazines. Case documents for Gabriella Sullivan, et al. v. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, et al. are available at FPCLaw.org.

“This is another important case in our FPC Law strategic litigation program that seeks to restore the right to keep and bear arms for all peaceable people. The State of Washington is not exempt from the Constitution. FPC will work to strike down and enjoin enforcement of these unconstitutional and immoral police state policies,” said FPC President Brandon Combs.

On March 23, 2022, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed Engrossed 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” (defined as “an ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds of ammunition, or any conversion kit, part, or combination of parts from which such a device can be assembled”). In response, FPC Law began to prepare a challenge to the new ban. 

The complaint says that the plaintiffs seek “a declaration that Washington’s ban on manufacturing, importing, distributing, selling, or offering for sale ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments and an injunction compelling Defendants to refrain from enforcing the invalid ban.”

“The State of Washington,” the complaint goes on, “has criminalized one of the most common and important means by which its citizens can exercise their fundamental right of self-defense. By banning manufacturing, importation, distribution, and sale of standard-capacity firearm magazines that can carry more than 10 rounds of ammunition (“standard capacity magazines”), the State has barred law-abiding residents from legally acquiring common ammunition magazines and deprived them of an effective means of self-defense.”

“Absent relief from this Court,” the plaintiffs said, “Defendants will violate the constitutionally protected rights of Washington’s law-abiding citizens and reinforce the erroneous notion that the right to keep and bear arms is nothing more than “a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.” Moreover, “An outright ban on manufacturing, importing, selling, or offering for sale constitutionally protected magazines violates the Second Amendment by prohibiting retailers from engaging in commerce necessary for individuals to exercise their fundamental right to keep and bear arms.”

The plaintiffs are represented by Joel B. Ard of Ard Law Group PLLC, David H. Thompson, Peter A. Patterson, and William V. Bergstrom of Cooper & Kirk PLLC, and Cody J. Wisniewski of Mountain States Legal Foundation. FPC is joined in the case by Gabriella Sullivan, an individual, as well as Rainier Arms, LLC and Second Amendment Foundation. Defendants include Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste, Interim Sheriff for King County, Washington Patti Cole-Tindall, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, and other government officials.

Individuals who would like to support this case can join the FPC Grassroots Army at JoinFPC.org. Individuals and organizations wanting to support charitable efforts in support of the restoration of Second Amendment and other natural rights can also make a tax-deductible donation to the FPC Action Foundation. For more on FPC’s lawsuits and other pro-Second Amendment initiatives, visit FPCLegal.org and follow FPC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Firearms Policy Coalition (firearmspolicy.org), a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, exists to create a world of maximal human liberty, defend constitutional rights, advance individual liberty, and restore freedom. FPC’s efforts are focused on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and adjacent issues including freedom of speech, due process, unlawful searches and seizures, separation of powers, asset forfeitures, privacy, encryption, and limited government. The FPC team are next-generation advocates working to achieve the Organization’s strategic objectives through litigation, research, scholarly publications, amicus briefing, legislative and regulatory action, grassroots activism, education, outreach, and other programs. 

FPC Law (FPCLaw.org) is the nation’s first and largest full-scope public interest legal team focused on the right to keep and bear arms, and the leader in the Second Amendment litigation and research space.