Federal Judge Refuses to Dismiss NRA/SAF Suit Against Washington Gun Control

The Associated Press
Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News via AP

On Tuesday a federal judge rejected a motion to dismiss a lawsuit against Washington’s gun control Initiative 1639.

I-1639 took effect January 1, 2019, and UPI reported that it “bans the sale of semi-automatic weapons to anyone under the age of 21.” I-1639 also put an enhanced background check in place for those still allowed to buy commonly-owned semiautomatic rifles and puts gun storage requirements in place, along with penalties for gun owners who fail to comply with those requirements.

On November 18, Breitbart News reported that the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation filed suit against the controls. Their suit is joined by a gun dealer in Spokane, one in Clark County, and four young adults who brought suit against I-1639, claiming it “violates the commerce clause by banning sales of rifles to non-residents, and that it unconstitutionally impairs the rights guaranteed by the First, Second and Fourteenth Amendments, and Article I Section 24 of the Washington State constitution by preventing the sale of certain rifles to otherwise qualified adults under age 21.”

Clark County Sheriff Chuck Atkins and Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl filed a motion to dismiss the NRA/SFA suit. They claim, “Plaintiffs lack standing to assert a claim against them because neither officer has enforced I-1639 against Plaintiffs or threatened to do so. Atkins and Meidl also contend that they are not proper defendants in this action because any potential injuries Plaintiffs suffered are the result of I-1639 itself, not its enforcement.”

Atkins and Meidl’s motion to dismiss was denied Tuesday morning by Judge Ronald B. Leighton.

The case is Mitchell v. State of Washington, No. 3:18-cv-05931 in the U.S District Court for Western District of Washington.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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