Institute for Legal, Legislative and Educational Action
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a motion for a preliminary injunction against the State of Washington, asking the court to prevent the state from enforcing provisions of House Bill 1240, which bans the manufacture, sale, purchase and transfer of so-called “assault weapons.”
Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill, which took effect immediately, during a ceremony attended by gun prohibition advocates, sponsors of the legislation and Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the chief defendant in the case, which is known as Hartford v. Ferguson. Joining SAF are the Firearms Policy Coalition, Sporting Systems, a Hazel Dell retailer, and three private citizens, Brett Bass, Douglas Mitchell and Lawrence Hartford, for whom the case is named. They are represented by Seattle attorney Joel Ard.
In their motion, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, SAF and its partners contend “there is no possible justification for Washington’s unconstitutional ban…Not only are they likely to succeed on the merits, but the threatened constitutional violation of Plaintiffs’ right to acquire firearms and to supply their customers with the same, would be irreparable if it were to occur, and public interest always favors the injunction of unconstitutional laws.”
“Washington has a long tradition of lawful private ownership of semiautomatic firearms,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Millions of American citizens own these firearms, all over the country, and they have been in common use in the Evergreen State for many years. We believe this ban is wholly unconstitutional, and as such, we’re asking the court to enjoin the state from enforcing the law, to prevent Washington citizens from being penalized by an unjust, politically-motivated statute.”
Adam Kraut, SAF executive director and a practicing attorney observed, “The courts have established that deprivation of constitutional rights constitutes irreparable injury, and the plaintiffs in this case have demonstrated the ban infringes on their Second Amendment rights, and thus causes irreparable harm. An injunction will not harm the state, because it will keep in place the status quo, which has always prevailed in Washington, right up to the moment Gov. Inslee signed the legislation. We’re hoping the court acts quickly in this matter, because politics should never outweigh the exercise of constitutionally-protected rights.”